Orbital Debris from Chinese Satellite Tops 3,000 Pieces

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Three and a half years after China intentionally blew up a satellite as part of a weapons test, 97 percent of the debris remains in orbit, posing “distinct hazards to hundreds of operational satellites,” writes NASA in its October issue of Orbital Debris Quarterly News.

The number of pieces of debris from the Fengyun-1C spacecraft surpassed the 3,000 mark last month. The tally as of mid-September was 3,037 objects — roughly 22 percent of all the cataloged objects in low-Earth orbit, reports the Orbital Debris Program Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

More space debris news:

China Top of Orbital Garbage Heap, Study Shows

CubeSails to Drag Space Junk from Orbit

Laser System to Monitor Space Junk

Space Junk Tracker to Orbit Earth

Mexican Meteorite: Was it Russian Space Junk?

Image: A view of the Chinese orbital debris problem. Only China’s space debris plotted (Google Earth plus the AGI space debris tracker)