The Space Junk Project is an artistic attempt to draw attention to one of the problems raised by the growing impact of our new human-dominated geological epoch, the so-called Anthropocene. “Space junk”, or space debris, space pollution, indicates all human-made objects left in the Erath’s orbit, such as spacecraft remnants, multi-payload carriers, debris released by old launch vehicles or produced by satellite explosions or collisions. According to recent estimates, it is a vast population of orbital debris ranging from nearly 23,000 large objects (> 10 cm), approximately 500,000 medium-sized particles (from 1 to 10 cm), to over 100 million micro-fragments of 1 mm or smaller. Depending on the altitude, orbital debris below 600 km generally falls to Earth in a few years, at 800 km the decay extends to decades, while above 1,000 km debris will normally remain orbiting the Earth for hundreds years or more. For further reading see https://orbitaldebris.jsc.nasa.gov/
The GEO images are images generated from a distant oblique vantage point to provide a good view of the object population in the geosynchronous region (around 35,785 km altitude). Credit: NASA ODPO.
View of an orbital debris hole made in the panel of the Solar Max experiment. Credit: NASA.
The main propellant tank of the second stage of a Delta 2 launch vehicle which landed near Georgetown, TX, on 22 January 1997. Credit: NASA ODPO.
On 21 January 2001, a Delta 2 third stage, known as a PAM-D (Payload Assist Module - Delta), reentered the atmosphere over the Middle East. The titanium motor casing of the PAM-D, weighing about 70 kg, landed in Saudi Arabia about 240 km from the capital of Riyadh. Credit: Space Research Institute, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Orbital debris found in California.