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The Guardian reveals the huge amount of junk that’s floating around Earth’s orbit. We all know that we’ve caused a lot of mess here on the ground, but we’ve been just as bad in space too.

Humans have only been sending stuff up into space since the 50s. Back then, having one or two defunct satellites floating around was no biggie, but now there are thousands of them in our atmosphere. We can’t see them on Earth, but they’re causing all sorts of problems for astronauts.

The main problem comes from the fact that it’s almost impossible to collect the old satellites once they’re no longer in use. They are purposefully designed to use the Earth’s orbit to stay in the air, so it can takes centuries for them to come back down. Worse still, any probe sent up to capture them would cost millions of dollars and could only collect one satellite at a time. But scientists and governments need to act now, as it’s only a matter of time before an old satellite collides with a functioning one, which could wipe out our internet, TV, radio and even our GPS services.

The Guardian|Space Junk|Documentary

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