JULIAN BAUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JULIAN BAUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Space junk demolition. Conceptual artwork of a satellite using a laser to destroy space junk. Space junk is an assortment of used rocket stages, old, dead hardware and other orbiting detritus which has been left in orbit by the hundreds of space missions since the 1950s. Destroying the junk by laser is just one idea about how to clear it. It has been estimated that there are over 20,000 man-made objects in orbit, of which only a tiny minority are operational satellites. These objects pose a serious threat to further missions, as a collision with a delicate piece of space hardware could damage it severely. A collision with an inhabited craft could even prove fatal.
Model release not required. Property release not required.