Latest News About Space Junk and Orbital Debris

The amount of trash in Earth orbit, from spent rocket stages, broken satellites and micrometeoroids, is growing. Scientists are working on methods to combat the threat of space junk and orbital debris collisions.
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US Military Satellite Explosion Caused by Battery-Charger Problem
Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Satellite
July 21st, 2015
The U.S. Air Force's DMSP-F13 satellite blew apart on Feb. 3, spawning a new cloud of space junk. Early indications pointed to a problem with the satellite's power system, and those suspicions have now been borne out by the full investigation.
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NASA Satellite Falls Out of Space, Burns Up Over Tropics
An artist's illustration of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite in orbit around Earth. The satellite studied Earth's rainfall for 17 years and was retired in April 2015. It burned up in the atmosphere on on June 16.
June 16th, 2015
A dead NASA satellite plunged out of space today and burned up in the Earth's atmosphere over the South Indian Ocean. The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite fell from fell from orbit at 2:54 a.m. EDT (0654 GMT).
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Gobbling Up Space Debris: A Pac-Man Approach Proposed
Space Debris 'Pac-Man' Solution
July 28th, 2015
A team of engineers has been at work for the past three years to develop a space cleanup satellite. The intent is to eliminate threatening, human-made orbital debris. The worry is not new – there’s lots of clutter to pick and choose from.
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'Fireball' Over US Southeast Was Probably Falling Space Junk (Video)
Space Junk Re-entry 'Meteor' on June 29, 2015
June 30th, 2015
The mysterious, multicolored sky light blazed up at 1:29 a.m. EDT Monday and was witnessed by skywatchers from Alabama to North Carolina — and by six NASA meteor-observing cameras. But this was no meteor.
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Dead Satellite Will Fall Out of Space on Tuesday
An illustration of the 3-ton Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite, which will fall to Earth on Tuesday, June 16, at 12:02 a.m. EDT to end its 17-year mission, according to NASA.
June 15th, 2015
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) spacecraft is nearing its uncontrolled re-entry, diving into the atmosphere in a destructive plunge next week.TRMM was a joint mission of NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
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Doomed Russian Space Station Cargo Ship Will Fall Back to Earth Soon
A file photo of a Russian Progress 55 cargo ship leaving the International Space Station in July 2014. Russia's latest cargo ship Progress 59 launched on April 28, 2015, only to suffer a serious malfunction after reaching orbit. The U.S. Air Force has spo
April 29th, 2015
The U.S. Air Force has spotted 44 pieces of space debris near an ailing Russian Progress 59 cargo ship that malfunctioned after launching into space on Tuesday (April 28). See what the space junk sighting may mean for space station astronauts.
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Explosion of US Military Satellite May Endanger Spacecraft After All
Debris Cloud from DMSP-F13 Explosion
May 8th, 2015
The debris cloud spawned by the Feb. 3 explosion of the U.S. Air Force's DMSP-F13 satellite may endanger some spacecraft, a new study suggests.
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