Top experts from across the globe are meeting to discuss ways to curb the amount of debris in orbit.
Scientists estimate that there could be as many as 29,000 objects larger than 10cm, 670,000 objects larger than 1cm and 170 million objects larger than 1mm in orbit around the Earth. Due to the speed at which these objects are traveling even a collision with a small item of debris could irreparably damage a satellite or spacecraft while a collision with one of the larger pieces would prove catastrophic.
"Space debris mitigation measures, if properly implemented by satellite designers and mission operators, can curtail the growth rate of the debris population," said Heiner Klinkrad who head's ESA Space Debris Office. "Active debris removal, however, has been shown to be necessary to reverse the debris increase."
"The continuing growth in space debris poses an increasing threat to economically vital orbital regions."
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