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.
US President Trump holds up a space policy directive he just signed during a meeting of the US National Space Council 18 June 2018.
The Outer Space Treaty has guided global exploration and use of outer space since 1967. Trump's 'Space Force' may not be a good fit.
An artist’s impression of Tiangong-1 in orbit.
China's space station Tiangong-1 is about to crash back to Earth any day now. It's out of control too so no one really knows where it will land. So what if it hits you or your house?
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.
China’s Tiangong-1 space station is due to hit Earth, and Australia is in the crash landing zone.
Cindy Zhi/The Conversation
China's Tiangong-1 space station is hurtling around Earth out of control and about to come crashing down. It's just one of thousands of pieces of space junk left orbiting our planet.
One of the Vanguard satellites being checked out at Cape Canaveral, Florida in 1958.
When Vanguard 1 – the "grapefruit satellite" – was launched in 1958, its only companions were Explorer 1 and Sputnik 2. Soon it may have thousands of descendants swarming around it.
The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket takes off from Cape Kennedy in Florida, USA on 06 February 2018.
The launch of Elon Musk's Falcon Heavy rocket is undoubtedly a spectacular feat of engineering - but the release of a sports car into orbit also says something about our values as human beings.
Right now there are more than 20,000 objects in space.
By taking on the role as leader in space traffic management, Australia can gain international power and exploit commercial opportunities.
Without satellites, modern technologies such mobiles phones and GPS would not exist.
Flickr/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
We've all seen videos of satellites being blasted off into space - but once they're locked in orbit around the earth, how do we bring them back down?
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?
Tiny CubeSats are ready to be our eyes in the skies.
Earth Background: NASA; HARP Spacecraft: SDL; Montage: Martins, UMBC
As technology advances, tiny satellites no bigger than a loaf of bread have advanced from just proving they work to being big contributors in answering science questions.
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.
Plenty of space junk out there.
EOS Space Systems
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Unless something is done about space junk, it might become too unsafe to have satellites in Low-Earth Orbit.
At some point in the next few months, Australia will get its first ever national space policy. The release of the report, following consultation by experts in the space industry, will be a defining moment…