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Writer Fuel: What Is Space Junk?

Space junk around Earth - Deposit Photos

There’s a floating garbage dump orbiting Earth, and it’s getting fuller every year.

Space debris — known colloquially as space junk — is the name that scientists give to the thousands of pieces of broken satellites and spacecraft that clog Earth’s orbit. Space junk can be as small as a paint fleck or as large as an abandoned rocket launch vehicle; no matter the size, orbital debris pose a significant threat to the astronauts and spacecraft that work in Earth’s orbit, according to NASA.

The amount of space junk in orbit increases hand-in-hand with the growth of the space industry on Earth. On March 10, a group of international researchers writing in the journal Science raised the alarm on the growing problem of space junk, calling for a legally-binding treaty to “help protect Earth’s orbit” before it becomes irreparably polluted with debris.

“Writer Fuel” is a series of cool real-world stories that might inspire your little writer heart. Check out our Writer Fuel page on the LimFic blog for more inspiration.

Full Story From Live Science