Friday, March 5, 2021
Home Business Space Junk: What is it and Who Owns it?

Space Junk: What is it and Who Owns it?

It’s important that we are aware of the risks space junk can pose and understand who owns all these orbiting objects

You may think that space is just a void – an unimaginably large, empty space stretching out forever. However, while that may be true to a certain extent, it’s definitely not the case a little closer to home. 

Orbiting our earth are thousands of pieces of debris – space junk. This includes everything from rocket parts to disused satellites, and there’s more up there than you might first think. 

What is Space Junk?

Space junk is essentially man-made debris and objects which have been left to orbit the earth for a variety of reasons. This could be due to a malfunction, fragmentation, or simply just abandonment. 

It might not seem like that much of a big deal, but large or fast-moving objects have the potential to inflict damage on operational satellites and even spacecraft. It’s important that we are aware of the risks space junk can pose and understand who owns all these orbiting objects.

But why is all this space junk up there cluttering the skies around Earth? 

The simple answer is that it’s just not that easy to remove it. Some space junk will re-enter the atmosphere and burn up, while other pieces may collide and break down into smaller components. However, much will continue orbiting the earth for many years.

With satellites, in particular, the UN has requested that they be removed from orbit within a maximum of 25 years following mission end. While this sounds good in principle, the practicalities of enforcing this as well as the costs and difficulties associated with complying mean that it does not always happen.

Space
It might not seem like that much of a big deal, but large or fast-moving objects have the potential to inflict damage on operational satellites and even spacecraft. It’s important that we are aware of the risks space junk can pose and understand who owns all these orbiting objects. Pixabay

Who Owns Space Junk?

Using data from Space Track, RS Components has been able to analyze this space junk – both decayed debris and objects currently in orbit. The data allows researchers to see which countries own what and paint a fuller picture of the amount of man-made debris orbiting our planet. 

There are over 12,000 man-made objects in orbit around the Earth, plus a further 17,000 pieces of decayed man-made debris. That’s a staggering figure, but when you consider that just three countries are responsible for 93% of space junk, it’s even more surprising. 

Earth
Orbiting our earth are thousands of pieces of debris – space junk. This includes everything from rocket parts to disused satellites, and there’s more up there than you might first think. Pixabay

The US currently has the largest amount of debris in orbit, with a total of 4171 pieces of space junk. They are closely followed by the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) which has 4068. Closing the top three is China, with 3550 pieces of space junk in orbit. 

On the other end of the scale, countries including the UK, Germany, North Korea, and Argentina all have less than five pieces of debris in orbit. 

ALSO READ: Here’s Why You Must Consider Switching From Facebook Messenger Soon!

Space junk is an important problem, yet many people are simply unaware of its scale. Space is undoubtedly mysterious, and it holds many secrets we have yet to unlock, but who would have thought that so many man-made objects are still out there silently orbiting the earth? 

You can see the full data and a handy infographic from RS Components here.

(Disclaimer: This article is sponsored, and hence promotes links of commercial interest.)

 

STAY CONNECTED

19,120FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,773FollowersFollow

Most Popular

New App That May Help in Quitting Drug Use!

Researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign are developing a new smartphone app that may help teach young adults how to talk to a...

Good News! These Regional Biggies Are All Set To Go Multillingual!

Top superstars of regional cinema have a new formula to reach out to a pan-Indian audience. While earlier, films would be made in one...

WhatsApp Launched One-to-One Call Feature For Desktop Apps

WhatsApp on Thursday announced that private and secure one-to-one voice and video calls features are now available on the desktop app for Windows and...

IIT G Designed An AI Based System To Detect Colorectal Cancer

A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati has designed an automated Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based system to detect colorectal cancer...

Issue of Drug Abuse and Crime Against Women Are Interlinked: Ravi Kishan

Actor-politician Ravi Kishan will soon anchor the crime-based non-fiction show Mauka-E-Vardaat, and he says the issues of drug abuse and a crime against women...

SC Expresses Displeasure on The Streaming of Films on OTT With Pornographic Content

The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed displeasure on the streaming of films on web platforms without any prior screening of the content and also...

Forearm Fracture – Here’s What You Need To Know

It won't be wrong to say that traumatic injuries are unexpected. You never know when an accident would occur or even a slight fall...

Indian Scientists Develop Low-Cost Optical Spectrograph That Can Locate Distant Galaxies, Quasars

Keeping in mind Prime Minister's call to develop technology in all spheres, Indian scientists have indigenously designed and developed a low-cost optical spectrograph. This...

Recent Comments