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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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

Using lasers and 'tow-trucks', Japanese firms target space debris

Using lasers and 'tow-trucks', Japanese firms target space debris

Engineers Build a gun That can Fire Projectiles at 10 km/s, Simulating High-Speed Space Debris Impacts

Space debris expert warns U.S. 'woefully behind' in efforts to clean up junk in orbit

How space debris threatens modern life [visual storytelling article]

India hit by more space debris

Old Russian Rocket Motor Explodes in Orbit, Creating More Space Debris

Old Russian rocket motor breaks up in orbit, generating new cloud of space debris