Long Now Talks

Creon Levit

Space Debris and The Kessler Syndrome: A Possible Future Trapped on Earth

More than one hundred million pieces of human-made space debris currently orbit our planet, most moving at more than 10,000 mph. Every year their number increases, creating a progressively more dangerous environment for working spacecraft. In order to operate in space, we track most of this debris through a patchwork of private efforts and government defense networks. Creon will discuss the history of space debris, the way the debris is currently tracked, and how we might work to reduce it before we see a cascading effect of ballistic interactions that could render low orbit all but unusable.

This talk is part of our more intimate Conversations at The Interval series that we host at our bar & cafe in Fort Mason. Note that while Long Now Members do hear about tickets first, they do not get free tickets to this series. Our talks tend to sell out quickly due to our limited capacity.

Attend this talk in-person or via our livestream
Watch & share these talks on YouTube and Long Now
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Long Now Talks are made possible by David and Abby Rumsey, Kim Polese, Shel Kaphan, Garrett Gruener, Scorpio Rising Fund, Peter Baumann, Brian Eno, Greg Stikeleather, Ping Fu, Peter Schwartz, Lawrence Wilkinson, Stripe, Ken and Maddy Dychtwald, Future Ventures, Ken and Jackie Broad, AtoB, WHH Foundation, Stewart Brand and Ryan Phelan, Jackson Square Partners Foundation, and The Long Now Members. We would also like to recognize George Cowan (01920 - 02012) for being the first to sponsor this series.

Learn about sponsorship

Long Now Talks are made possible through the generous support of The Long Now Membership and our Seminar Sponsors. We offer $5,000 and $15,000 annual Sponsorships, both of which entitle the sponsor and a guest to reserved seating at all Long Now seminars and special events. In addition, we invite $15,000 Sponsors to attend dinner with the speaker after each Seminar, and $5,000 Sponsors may choose to attend any four dinners during the sponsored year. For more information about donations and Seminar Sponsorship, please contact donate@longnow.org. We are a public 501(c)(3) non-profit, and donations to us are always tax deductible.

What is the long now?

The Long Now Foundation is a nonprofit established in 01996 to foster long-term thinking. Our work encourages imagination at the timescale of civilization — the next and last 10,000 years — a timespan we call the long now.

Learn more

Long Now's website is changing...