Houston Matters

NASA Navigates the Problem of Space Junk

It’s one of the aerospace industry’s biggest problems and it’s multiplying: space junk. Yes, really. Some 500,000 pieces of debris — and growing — are traveling in orbit above us at more than 17,000 miles per hour. We have to maneuver through or around this field of junk in order to get satellites and ships […]

It’s one of the aerospace industry’s biggest problems and it’s multiplying: space junk. Yes, really.

Some 500,000 pieces of debris — and growing — are traveling in orbit above us at more than 17,000 miles per hour. We have to maneuver through or around this field of junk in order to get satellites and ships where they’re going safely. It’s a hazard that may only worsen amid deployment of the Webb telescope (Hubble’s successor) and continuing development of commercial space flight.

We learn more from Dr. J.C. Liou, Chief Scientist with NASA’s Orbital Debris Program.

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