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Ask an Explainer

Q:

What happens to the particles of unused spacecrafts or broken pieces left in space?

A:

Space trash is actually a huge problem for us. Satelites, when they have completed their mission, sometimes stay in orbit around the Earth for a while and the collection is beginning to grow.

 

Usually, the orbit of space junk will gradually deterioate, and it will fall into our atmosphere and burn up on re-entry, but other bits keep wizzing around the earth, bumping into each other.

 

The orbital debris problem is being addressed and solutions to this problem are being debated.