A satellite image of earth.

There are 670,000 pieces of space junk orbiting Earth

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There are 170 million pieces of debris floating around Earth. The majority of those pieces are tiny fragments. But 670,000 are larger than 1 centimeter.

Published   |  Photo by NASA/AP
A satellite image of earth.
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Traveling at speeds of more than 17,500 mph (28,000 kph), 1 cm or larger fragments are large enough to disable the International Space Station in the event of a collision.

A satellite image of earth.
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The pieces of debris far outnumber the 1,420 operational satellites currently orbiting Earth.

A satellite image of earth.
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As space firms plan to launch even more objects into space, including constellations with thousands of satellites, it becomes more important to clean that space junk.

A satellite image of earth.
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For now, space agencies and companies are only tracking the debris. But some, like Japanese-Singaporean startup Astroscale are planning to launch space-cleaning satellites.

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