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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Power System Failure Eyed in US Military Satellite Explosion
Artist's concept of a Defense Meteorological Satellite System (DMSP) military weather spacecraft.
March 3rd, 2015
While investigators continue to study the dramatic Feb. 3 death of the DMSP-F13 satellite, signs currently point to failure of the power system aboard the spacecraft, which launched in 1995.
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Japan's Military to Track Space Junk By 2019: Report
Space junk orbiting Earth.
August 5th, 2014
Japan is gearing up to track dangerous space junk orbiting Earth, according to press reports. The nation plans to create a military space force that would be used to track dangerous objects that could do harm to functional satellites and other assets.
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20-Year-Old Military Weather Satellite Apparently Exploded in Orbit
Defense Meteorological Satellite System (DMSP) Spacecraft
March 2nd, 2015
A 20-year-old military weather satellite apparently exploded in orbit Feb. 3 following what the U.S. Air Force described as a sudden temperature spike.
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Is Russian Mystery Object a Space Weapon?
2007 Chinese Anti-Satellite Test Debris
November 19th, 2014
Some space analysts wonder if "Object 2014-28E" could be part of an anti-satellite program — perhaps a revived version of the Cold War-era "Istrebitel Sputnikov" ("satellite killer") project.d
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NASA Eyes Robotic Space Gas Stations for Satellites
The Remote Robotic Oxidizer Transfer Test
July 29th, 2014
NASA wants to create a robotic gas station in space. While that might call to mind visions of interstellar starships, the unmanned depot won't actually be used to refuel rockets leading to the outer solar system or other worlds; instead, it will be design
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Clean Up Space Junk or Risk Real-Life 'Gravity' Disaster, Lawmakers Say
Space Junk Currently Orbiting Earth
May 9th, 2014
While the plot of the hit Hollywood film 'Gravity' is fictional, the United States must bolster efforts to address the alarming amount of space junk, or risk grappling with potentially catastrophic collisions with debris in orbit, lawmakers said today.
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Dealing with Space Junk: The Rocky Road Ahead
In-orbit Explosions
January 16th, 2015
More than 22,000 pieces of space junk at least 4 inches (10 centimeters) wide are now being tracked in Earth’s orbit. Cleaning up this mess — and preventing it from getting worse — will take a sustained international effort, experts say.
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Mock Satellite Destroyed to Study Space Junk Collisions
DebriSat
October 28th, 2014
A full-scale lookalike of a modern satellite was purposefully destroyed in a ground test chamber. The results of the blast are meant to help scientists better grasp the effects of space collisions.
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Australian Fireball Caused by Russian Space Junk (Video)
Flaming Rocket Debris Over Australia
July 11th, 2014
Observers throughout southeastern Australia reported seeing a bright meteor streaking through the skies Thursday night. Experts have concluded that the fireball was caused by a piece of a Russian Soyuz rocket that launched Tuesday.
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