Space Debris

Space debris are defunct human-made objects in space—principally in Earth orbit—which no longer serve a useful function. These include derelict spacecraft—nonfunctional spacecraft and abandoned launch vehicle stages—mission-related debris, and particularly numerous in Earth orbit, fragmentation debris from the breakup of derelict rocket bodies and spacecraft. In addition to derelict human-made objects left in orbit, other examples of space debris include fragments from their disintegration, erosion and collisions or even paint flecks, solidified liquids expelled from spacecraft, and unburned particles from solid rocket motors. Space debris represents a risk to spacecraft. Space debris is typically a negative externality—it creates an external cost on others from the initial action to launch or use a spacecraft in near-Earth orbit—a cost that is typically not taken into account nor fully accounted for in the cost by the launcher or payload owner.

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Russian space debris forces space station to dodge, cancels US spacewalk

Space debris expert: Orbits will be lost—and people will die—later this decade | "Flexing geopolitical muscles in space to harm others has already happened."

There’s a Cloud of Space Debris Around Earth. Here’s how we Could get a Better Picture of it

Elevating the Risk of Satellite Collision: Climate Change To Increase Lifetime of Space Debris

Climate change is extending the lifetime of space debris. A new study found that the density of the thermosphere will decrease by 30-35% at an altitude of 250 miles over the next few decades. That loss of drag would increase the lifetime of space debris in LEO by 30% compared to 2000.

International Space Station swerves to avoid Russian space debris, NASA says - CNN

Climate change keeps space debris afloat longer

Space junk is a growing problem. New research suggests there is a 10% chance someone will be killed by falling space debris within the next 10 years.

China uses drag sail to clear up space junk successfully.

An incoming meteor (or bunch of space debris, which some experts say it may be) broke up between Scotland and northern Ireland within view of much of the United Kingdom.

New rules needed to fix growing space debris problem, FCC says

SpaceX Starlink satellites face Russia space debris 'squalls' in orbit: report

Space debris is coming down more frequently. What are the chances it could hit someone or damage property?

Why space debris keeps falling out of the sky—and will continue to do so

‘Like an alien obelisk’: space debris found in Snowy Mountains paddock believed to be from SpaceX mission

NASA Releases Statement on Chinese Space Debris

NASA Administrator Statement on Chinese Space Debris

Satellite dodges space debris as it scrambles against space weather

Satellite dodges space debris as it scrambles against space weather

Reports of space debris breaking up in Montana skies