Space junk: Here’s how many satellites revolve around earth

Representative purpose only.

India’s move to destroy its low orbiting satellite during a missile test five days ago has drawn criticism from international space bodies.

Jim Bridenstine, head of NASA, dubbed India’s destruction of the satellite as a ‘terrible thing’ that has created 400 pieces of orbital debris. The new debris has increased collision dangers for astronauts aboard the International Space Station, he added.

Experts worry that the increasing debris in the space could reach a point where it would become too risky to launch new satellites as the chances of collision would rise. As a result of the Indian test, the risk of collision with the ISS has increased by 44% over 10 days, Bridenstine said. Here’s an infograph on the number of satellites that are revolving in space.

Currently, the US Department of Defense is tracking over 5 lakh pieces of space junk, with 23,000 objects larger than 10 centimetres that are revolving in earth’s orbit.

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