To date, not a single orbiting object has been recovered from space successfully. But several methods are in development to reduce the overpopulation of Earth’s orbit by man-made debris.
The southern hemisphere is more likely to be hit by space debris than the northern one.
Russia’s testing of an anti-satellite weapon risked the life of astronauts on the International Space Station and could have astronomical impacts on Earth.
A Russian satellite has been destroyed in a missile strike, creating a vast amount of debris that joins the tens of thousands of pieces already in orbit around the Earth.
Russia destroyed one of its old satellites during a successful test of an anti-satellite weapon. A space security expert explains what this weapon was and the dangers of the expanding debris field.
A close call for the International Space Station highlights the growing problem of space junk putting satellites at risk.
Chances are small that space junk will destroy property or harm a person, and existing space law could deal with such an event. But current law doesn’t address the bigger problem of space pollution.
China’s Long March 5B rocket, after a successful blast-off in April to deliver a space station module, is now on track to crash-land somewhere with a latitude between New York and New Zealand.
Earth orbit is filling up with satellites and space junk. Technological fixes can only go so far to deal with the problem.
The shift toward mega-constellations is a challenge for global space governance.
SpaceX’s satellites will populate the night sky, affecting how we observe the stars. And this is just the beginning of private satellite mega-constellations.
Radio telescopes are incredibly sensitive to phone network interference.
Two defunct satellites passed within metres of one another, prompting renewed focus on the dangers of space debris. But with many satellites treated as military secrets, how do we track the hazards?
Satellites monitor climate change, guide people with GPS and keep us connected through texts and social media, but they’re under threat.
In the future we might get sick of hearing people tell their stories about going to the Moon. Perhaps the Moon will just be like thinking about today’s Antarctica – a remote but accessible place.
There needs to be an international approach regarding the management and disposal of space junk.
On 27 March, India announced it had successfully conducted an anti-satellite missile test, Mission Shakti. India is now the fourth country in the world displaying this capability.
This year the Apollo 11 mission turns 50 - but what does the future hold for the Moon? The ephemeral shadows cast by human artefacts may soon be joined by more permanent scars of lunar mining.
In the space beyond Earth’s atmosphere, countries are focusing on nationalist pursuits and ignoring the consequences for the rest of humanity. How can we keep the peace and build a sustainable future?
China just became the first country to land a probe on the far side of the moon. It’s a technological achievement and another sign of China’s capabilities and ambitions in space.