The Space Station Has The Most Beautiful Garbage Day

While terrestrial humans tolerate stinky, sticky garbage trucks, our astronaut brethren opt for something much more beautiful for their disposal runs. This streak of fire across the night sky is the burning of the Cygnus spacecraft, dirty laundry, and other junk. On the flip side, garbage day is a lot less frequent. » 8/18/14 4:47pm 8/18/14 4:47pm

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

Are satellite orbits being compromised by global warming?

As bizarre as this might sound, a new study published in Nature Geoscience is suggesting that global warming is having an impact on objects orbiting around the Earth. According to environmental physicist Stefan Noël, rising carbon dioxide levels are reducing the pull of the Earth's atmosphere on objects like… » 11/12/12 4:16pm 11/12/12 4:16pm

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

Has the space junk in Earth orbit really reached a dangerous tipping…

Space is a vast and often empty place, but within our own orbit, things are getting pretty crowded. There are millions of pieces of debris, from busted satellites to lost chunks of rockets, encircling our planet. Some say it's a deadly menace. But just how dangerous is this space garbage, really? » 9/02/11 11:16am 9/02/11 11:16am