The mass of Space Junk poses a major environmental risk to the planet yet is something we know very little about, a leading expert has warned.
There are thought to be about 100 million pieces of debris floating in space, ranging from flecks of paint to used rockets and dead satellites weighing tonnes. Some 27,000 of them are more than 10cm wide and are being tracked in orbit by NASA. Space junk travels around the Earth at speeds of up to 17,500 mph, meaning that even small pieces of rubbish fractions of a millimeter across can damage communication satellites, which are vital for the web, mobile phones and satellite navigation on Earth.
Dr Hugh Lewis believes the growing problem could jeopardise future generations’ hopes of living and working in space.
Some space junk has been left in space during the many missions that have taken place since the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite, in 1957.
The project which is titled as “Adrift”, uses film, sound and social media to explore the dangers of space junk. A documentary by filmmaker Cath Le Couteur features British-American meteorologist and astronaut Piers Sellers, who dropped his spatula during a spacewalk on NASA’s “Discovery” mission in 2006.