Space Debris and Space Traffic Management
Decades of space travel have resulted in a large amount of space debris that can be harmful to today’s satellites. Aerospace is addressing the issue of space debris and space traffic management by developing tools for analyzing potential collisions, studying reentry breakups, and modeling debris objects in space.
Orbital Debris Basics
It is the most iconic piece of space debris: that famous little screwdriver that slipped through an astronaut’s grasp and has been circling low Earth orbit at up to 21,600 mph for, like, what now—35 years?
Spacecraft Reentry Basics
Some believe there’s no such thing as an “unlucky person”—only bad decisions. Tell that to Lottie Williams, the only person in the world to be hit by falling space junk—through no fault of her own. Lottie had probably wondered: Why am I the only person in the world to get hit by space junk?
Chinese Space Station Tiangong-1 Returns
As the world watched, Chinese Space Station Tiangong-1 reentered Earth’s atmosphere on April 1, 2018 at 5:16pm PST. Most of the space station burned up upon reentry with any remaining space debris falling into the South Pacific Ocean.
Space Debris FAQ
A piece of space debris the size of a blueberry can create the impact of a falling anvil. Here's everything else you need to know about space debris.
Submit Your Debris Sighting
Have you witnessed a reentry?