sSixty-four years after the launch of Sputnik 1, Earth’s suburbs have become a garbage can. Several hundred million pieces of debris larger than a millimeter (for a total mass of 5,900 tons) from explosions and collisions continuously orbit the Earth. A bolt thrown at a speed of several thousand kilometers per hour can penetrate the International Space Station (ISS) like butter.
Hence the announcement of the destruction of an old Russian spy satellite by a missile during a recent test fired. ISS astronauts were asked to lock themselves for a few hours in Russian and American spacecraft docked at the station to deal with any eventuality. NASA and the European Space Agency are each monitoring…
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