Outer Space / Society / Technology
Also known as space junk or space garbage. Refers to the debris floating outside the atmosphere in Earth orbit, much of it consisting of abandoned satellites in geostationary orbit and rocket fragments in high Earth orbit. There are regulations regarding space debris contained in The Convention on the International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects, implemented in 1972, if one examines the document with a loose interpretation; however, the amount of space debris continues to accumulate every year, with collisions between objects resulting in even more debris, some forming complex fields of material. These fields inflict damage on other satellites, rockets, and spaceplanes. A strict system of control for space debris is currently being studied.
The presence of space debris has become a serious problem for all objects operating in low Earth orbit or above. The possible end of all space exploration and development due to a massive field of space debris enveloping the Earth is known as the Kessler Syndrome.