According to the NASA, there are about 500,000 pieces of space junk orbiting our earth. Now, let’s focus on why is space junk a problem.
Firstly, they are orbiting around the earth with the speed up to 17,500 mph. That means even a small object traveling at such speed can damage the spacecraft or a satellite. A scientific community is especially concerned about their space vehicles with the humans on board. Therefore, scientists are working on the better tracking system, so the debris will not collide with International Space Station and satellites.
Space junk also poses a threat to earth. In recent years, there were several reports on space junk falling down to the earth. Although most of the space junk will burn up in the earth’s atmosphere, some bigger pieces still pose a threat.
Where is space junk coming from?
Space junk is coming from nonfunctional spacecraft, abandoned launch vehicle stages, mission-related debris and fragmentation debris. 20,000 of them are larger than a softball.