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These Are The Countries on Earth With The Most Junk in Space

These Are The Countries on Earth With The Most Junk in Space

An illustration of Europe’s ATV spacecraft breaking apart and burning up. Image: ESA/D. Ducros.
An illustration of Europe’s ATV spacecraft breaking apart and burning up. Image: ESA/D. Ducros.

The amount of debris is truly staggering.

At any given moment, thousands of satellites swarm over our heads at altitudes ranging between a few hundred miles and tens of thousands of miles.

But, of the manmade items in space that are larger than your fist, orbiting satellites are a minority. About 95 percent of what's out there is space junk: out-of-control space stations, used rocket parts, dead satellites, lost astronaut tools and more.

This dangerous orbital garbage is moving roughly 10 times faster than a speeding bullet and takes a long time to crash back to earth.

"This debris can stay up there for hundreds of years," Bill Ailor, an aerospace engineer and atmospheric reentry specialist, told Business Insider.

And it gets worse.

Just one collision in space can create thousands of new high-speed, out-of-control pieces and threaten other spacecraft.

Read more ...

November 7, 2017


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