Space Junk Orbiting the Earth
Animation courtesy of
The Aerospace Corporation
Houston, we have a problem! Satellites crashing into satellites! There may be over a million pieces of space junk currently orbiting the Earth. However, all but 9,000 of these are smaller than a tennis ball.
Space is now polluted with the flotsam and jetsam of a satellite-dependent civilization. The rubbish is increasingly a hazard for human spaceflight and has put important equipment such as the Hubble Space Telescope and communications satellites at risk of being struck by an object moving at hypervelocity. Read on...