A Startling Image That Shows Why Space Junk is a Nightmare

If you saw the movie Gravity, then you know that space debris can be deadly. Some scientists warn that the crud in Earth's orbit may have reached a dangerous "tipping point." But to prove the point, here's an image from artist Michael Najjar that shows every single piece of real-life junk in our orbit. » 12/31/13 12:30pm 12/31/13 12:30pm

How to Clean Up Deadly Space Junk Before Disaster Strikes

Hit film Gravity offers a hyper-realistic portrait of life in space, including the possibility that an avalanche of space debris could be fatal. This is a real threat, so we'd better be ready. Here are ideas that scientists, engineers and other experts have proposed to reduce the space junk threat, and clean up our… » 10/10/13 11:21am 10/10/13 11:21am

Earth's orbit is swarming with debris — meet the satellite designed to…

At any given time, NASA is keeping track of about 16,000 pieces of space junk in Earth's orbit — and those are just the big chunks. This debris poses a serious safety hazard, primarily to operational satellites in the planet's orbit, but also to astronauts like those on board the ISS. In fact, according to some NASA… » 2/17/12 1:50pm 2/17/12 1:50pm