Artwork of space junk colliding with a satellite

Artwork of space junk colliding with a satellite

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This image is part of the feature Space Junk

Credit: JULIAN BAUM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Space junk collision. Artwork of space junk colliding with a satellite. The impacting debris here is a sliver of metal, and the collision has dislodged one of the satellite's solar panels. Space junk is the debris left in orbit by the hundreds of space missions which have taken place since the late 1950s. It mainly consists of old, dead payloads, burned out rocket bodies and operational debris such as optics covers and deployment equipment. It poses a serious threat to future missions due to the high risk of collisions. Even a small collision could severely damage space hardware, as here, and a collision on an inhabited space station could even prove fatal.

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Keywords: broken, debris, hitting satell, hitting satelli, hitting satellit, hitting satellite, junk, satellite, solar panel, space, space debris, space ju, space junk, space junk collisi

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