What is space junk?
Space junk (also known as space debris) is any element of machinery or waste in space. Specifically left by humans.
It may be a big object such as a dead satellite that has fallen or been left in orbit at the end of its mission. It may be a smaller thing too, like bits of scrap or paint spots. Some human-made debris has been left on the Moon, too.
NASA Role in Cleaning Space Junk
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson condemned Russia for its missile test on November 15 by pointing out it as “irresponsible,” “reckless,” and “dangerous.”
But the US has made a lot of bits of space debris circling Earth, having the piece that terrorized the ISS on Friday and waste from a 2008 missile strike. Other unusual space junk culprits have blown up satellites in space.
Meanwhile, in January the NASA Office of the Inspector General’s report uncovered NASA’s effort to stop adding junk to Earth’s orbit was not sufficient enough to control wrecks in space. NASA should also focus on cleaning up existing space debris. And according to the report, the agency didn’t make remarkable progress to clear debris from orbit. More on, the OIG said, NASA is making more problems by leaving old rockets & satellites in orbit.
According to a recent report by NASA, at least 26,000 pieces of debris are the size of a softball in space. Their size amplifies the risk of catastrophic collisions. They are orbiting along at 17,500 mph which could cause to destruction of a satellite. More than 500,000 pieces are in space to impact fuel tanks and spacecraft cabins.
What are they doing about it?
According to NASA, they are cleaning up space and managing the risks associated with debris. The European Space Agency is also thinking to send a self-destructing robot into orbit in 2025 as a space vacuum cleaner. These efforts are very important as private space ventures like SpaceX continue to clutter the low Earth orbit of satellites.