JULIAN BAUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JULIAN BAUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Space junk. Computer artwork showing the Earth and scattered debris in orbit around it. Some 22,000 man-made objects of different sizes and shapes are in orbit around the Earth. Only a small fraction represent satellites which are presently in operation; the remainder are made up of used rocket bodies, dead payloads, operational debris (such as optics covers and payload attachment hardware) and the consequence of years of payload, rocket and satellite fragmentation. This space junk is a hazard for future space missions due to the increasing probability of it impacting on newly launched satellites or spacecrafts.
Model release not required. Property release not required.