According to the data of the Space Monitoring Network (SSN) sensors, there is more than that in Earth’s orbit 27,000 tracked items known as space debris. About 23 thousand of them are larger than softball. Of course, these are not all things, but only those whose size allows you to monitor their location and which are potentially dangerous for space flights and robotic missions. We also have about 0.5 million debris as small as 1 cm in ball size and more than 100 million debris as small as 1 mm in size. It is difficult to estimate the number of smaller elements. They all move at tremendous speeds, often exceeding 11,000. m / s, which means that even hitting a small part can cause serious damage.
Among the dangerous elements, we can find both natural meteorites orbiting the sun and equipment that man sends into space. Orbital debris created by mankind is all of those elements They no longer have a useful job. These can be, for example, old satellites, wrecked spaceships, abandoned missile launch elements, but also pieces of equipment. All of them make current and future space missions increasingly challenging. Suffice it to say that since 1999, the International Space Station alone has had to perform a total of 29 maneuvers, and in 2020 up to three maneuvers, the purpose of which was Avoid hitting debris that can damage the structure.
So what kind of trash can we find in space? In this gallery, we’ll look at examples of elements that have been found, among other things, in Earth’s orbit. You will learn where they came from and what happened that they were there at all.
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