DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID DUCROS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Space debris collision. Artwork of a piece of space debris hitting one of a satellite's solar arrays. Space debris ranges from the remains of failed launches to defunct satellites and unsecured tools that drifted away from orbiting spacecraft. If it is in a stable orbit, the debris will be a constant hazard to spacecraft and satellites. Even a small object can cause a great deal of damage at the high speeds of Earth orbits. The launch of more and more satellites has led to near-Earth space becoming increasingly crowded. Each impact spreads more junk into a growing shell of debris surrounding the Earth.
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