Space junk - an environmental catastrophe in the making

Adrift Hundreds of millions of pieces of debris hang in space. Capable of destroying satellites and spacecrafts, they are an accident waiting to happen. Will space debris orbit forever or come crashing down?

In 2006 Piers Seller lost a spatula in space; it travelled at 17,500 mph before burning up in Earth’s atmosphere. No harm was caused, but this was just one item in the 200 million-strong “floating graveyard”. Vanguard, the first US satellite, reveals alarmingly that there is currently "no viable means to bring us back to Earth".

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