Today I learned about space junk.
Space junk around the earth includes broken satellites, used rocket stages, dust from rocket motors — anything that is man-made.
An example of when space junk is created was when the Russian and U.S. satellites collided. A picture of how much space junk there is appears on the right. The white circle around the earth represents the debris. This junk moves at speeds of 17,500 miles per hour. Because it travels so fast, the junk can be a problem destroying satellites and spacecrafts. Space junk has collided with satellites at least twice. Space junk can also be a problem because sometimes this junk can even fall on someone on earth, which is shown in the video above.
Because the amount of space junk is increasing and is causing problems, some people are thinking of ways to get rid of it. Today on 2/20/12, Swiss scientists said they are planing to launch a Janitor satellite to get rid of this junk. The satellite would have to be able to guide the junk, it would have to be able to grab hold of it, and it would have to be able to adjust to certain paths. It is going to launch within three to five years.
You can learn more about space junk here: