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Satellites can monitor climate emissions... but space junk puts them at risk

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Our tech has a climate problem

To solve the climate crisis, we need reliable satellites to track carbon emissions and changing weather patterns. Astrodynamicist Moriba Jah says space junk is putting these satellites in jeopardy.

About Moriba Jah

Moriba Jah is an associate professor of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at The University of Texas at Austin and co-founder of Privateer, a company helping track objects in orbit. Prior to UT Austin, Jah worked for the Air Force Research Laboratory and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Jah serves as a fellow at TED, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Astronautical Society, International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety, Royal Astronomical Society and the Air Force Research Laboratory.

This segment of TED Radio Hour was produced by Harsha Nahata and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHour and email us at

Copyright 2024 NPR

Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Harsha Nahata
Harsha Nahata (she/her) is a producer for TED Radio Hour. She is drawn to storytelling as a way to explore ideas about identity and question dominant narratives.