Space debris in Earth orbit creates a dangerous obstacle course for satellites and astronauts.
Dotted Yeti / Shutterstock.com
Countries developing technology that removes or blasts away space junk may appear to be doing a public service. But those same technologies can destroy military and communications satellites.
Nearly 50 years since the first man walked on the moon, our morals are still stranded on Earth.
The Changzheng-2F rocket with the Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft heading to Tiangong-1 in 2013.
Air resistance makes it near impossible to predict the path of a crashing satellite.
SpaceX via Twitter
From damaging the environment to contaminating the solar system, SpaceX's successful launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket also poses risks.
Tiny and very faint, this fast moving object (centre) was captured by astronomers as it passed through our Solar system.
Queen's University Belfast
The mystery object seen moving through our Solar system shows the void between the stars is far from empty. So can we expect more interstellar visitors?
The Telstar 1 satellite inspired a chart-topping pop tune, the iconic black-and-white hexagonal Adidas soccer ball, and maybe even a Doctor Who creature, the Mecanoids.
National Physical Laboratory
Protecting culturally significant spacecraft enables people on Earth to feel connected to space as the common heritage of humanity.
The Mayak satellite will unfold a giant reflective pyramid that will be seen from Earth.
It promises to be one of the brightest objects in the night sky once the Mayak satellite unfolds a giant pyramid reflector. But what is it going to do?
Asgardia is calling for unrestricted research but history has given us many examples where this has resulted in unacceptable consequences.
Workers wave flags as the rocket carrying the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft being moved to the launch pad.
We don't know where Tiangong-1 will land but the risk of someone being hit is about 1 in 3,200.
The Changzheng-2F rocket with the Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft carries three Chinese astronauts to the space station Tiangong-1.
We should welcome the fact that amateur astronomers are increasingly keeping tabs on what's going on up above.
It’s pretty busy up there.
Back of the net! Litter-picking mission will leave space junk caught up in a web.
CubeSats upon release from the International Space Station.
Just about anyone can get a tiny, cheap satellite into orbit these days. As we consider how to deploy them responsibly, inspiration comes from an amateur community of enthusiasts.
We need to find a way to break through the potentially disastrous stalemate wherever everyone waits for someone else to clear up the junk in orbit.
Old junk: the Jules Verne Automated Transfer Vehicle crashing into Earth’s atmosphere in 2008.
A crashing piece of space junk could be a a good fortune for researchers, despite falling on Friday the 13th.
It’s crowded up there - the many objects tracked in low Earth orbit.
Near-Earth orbits are filled with useful satellites, and also flying junk. If we're not careful they may collide - literally.
Lost in space!
Since the birth of space flight in 1957, the number of man-made objects orbiting the Earth has grown every year. There are now more than 15,000 such objects larger than 10cm, at least those that we know…