Science

Forty-Four Years of Space Junk
Orbital debris through the years

Forty-Four Years of Space Junk

A NASA diagram of the thousands of man-made objects, 95 percent of which are junk, orbiting the Earth in both low and geosynchronous orbits.
(NASA)

Forty-Four Years of Space Junk

Sept. 14, 2006: NASA scientist Mark Matney seen through a fist-sized hole punched through a 3-inch sheet of aluminum in a space-junk impact test.
(AP)

Forty-Four Years of Space Junk

June 1965: Ed White, first American to walk in space, and first to lose something while doing it. He died in the Apollo 1 fire 19 months later.
(NASA)

Forty-Four Years of Space Junk

Skylab, seen by astronauts leaving it in Feb. 1974. It then became the largest piece of space junk until it crashed to Earth five years later.
(NASA)

Forty-Four Years of Space Junk

A scanning-electron microscope image of a high-velocity particle impact incurred in orbit on a window of space shuttle Columbia in 1992.
(NASA)

Forty-Four Years of Space Junk

Sept. 14, 2006: The white arrow points to damage caused by a tiny piece of space junk on a solar panel from the Russian space station Mir.
(AP)

Forty-Four Years of Space Junk

A NASA illustration of all objects, 95 percent of which are junk, in low-Earth orbit.
(NASA)

Forty-Four Years of Space Junk

Orbital debris through the years

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