darmstadt - More and more debris is flying around the earth. It is now almost 20,000 fragments, which together weigh more than 8 million kilos. That is heavier than the Eiffel Tower, according to the European space agency ESA.
The space debris consists mainly of old satellites and fragments of rockets. They do not all perish in the atmosphere of the earth. Ten years ago there were only 10 000 fragments.
There is not only more debris due to new launches. That rubble also collides more often, causing the fragments to split into smaller fragments. And they can also collide with each other and pulverize. Small fragments are also dangerous for, for example, the international space station ISS and for the satellites that are still in use, because they have speeds of a few tens of thousands of kilometers per hour.
There are ideas to clean up the space around the earth, but not all plans are getting off the ground.
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