How big tech is downgrading space to junk status and putting ...

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How big tech is downgrading space to junk status and putting lives at risk

ISS crew bolted for safety this week after a missile shattered a satellite, underlining the need for a cleanup

Todd Shields

The Russian missile test that shattered a dead satellite this week highlights a growing threat of space debris just as companies such as SpaceX and Boeing make plans to launch as many as 65,000 commercial spacecraft into orbit in coming years.

The anti-satellite weapon smashed a Russian orbiter into at least 1,500 pieces, forming a belt of debris hurtling around the Earth at speeds up to 27,000km/h. It forced ground control to awaken the sleeping crew of the International Space Station and ask them to close hatches and scramble into docked spacecraft for safety.

It also added to the amount of junk speeding through space thanks to failed satellites, discarded rocket boosters and weapons tests. This just as technology entrepreneurs and defence companies have announced plans to deploy constellations of satellites, adding to about 4,550 from all countries now in orbit. ..

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