In order to prevent future colonists from having to live underground do to the threat of an incoming loose bolt, NASA instead will take steps ensure we do not "junk up" the lunar heavens for future generations.
(Space.com) "NASA's new robotic lunar exploration program and the eventual return of astronauts to the moon dictated that we address potential debris in lunar orbit," explained Nicholas Johnson, Chief Scientist for Orbital Debris at the NASA Johnson Space Center. "The new NASA procedural requirements for orbital debris mitigation identifies the issue of the disposal of objects in lunar orbit and assigns responsibilities for ensuring that end-of-mission actions do not pose a threat to future lunar missions or to operations on the lunar surface."
This threat arises from the fact that any object dropping out of lunar orbit would impact the surface at a near horizontal 5,000 miles per hour. Very unhealthy for any astronaut in the line of fire and a potential danger to historic Apollo landing sites.
Keeping the Moons skies junk free will probably require an international effort, as most worlds in our solar system lack an atmosphere to provide a "buffer" against these tiny (yet potentially fatal) threats.
Astronauts already have to worry about incoming space rocks, and the last item they (and future space settlers) need to focus on is junk from previous missions endangering their lives.
Want more space geek news? Then subscribe below via email, RSS or twitter for free updates! Prefer another service? How about via RSS or follow Colony Worlds on Twitter!