A satellite is an object (natural and artificial) that orbits around a star or a planet. The first artificial satellite, Sputnik I, was sent to space in the year 1957. Since then, we have had so many more launches.
Have you ever wondered how many such artificial satellites orbit the Earth?
There are about half a million satellites/artificial objects in space, out of which only a fraction is usable. This means that there is a lot of space junk that is floating around.
Space junk or space debris refers to the artificial material that orbits the Earth but is no longer functional.
The threat posed by orbital debris becomes higher as the band of space surrounding the Earth becomes increasingly crowded with satellites.
Recently, space junk hit a robotic arm located outside the International Space Station (ISS) and punched a hole in it.
The arm is called Canadarm2. It is responsible for conducting regular maintenance checks on the outer parts of the ISS.
NASA and other space agencies are coming up with ways to reduce orbital debris in space. While some suggest taking down dead satellites, others are thinking about refuelling and reusing the old ones.
But guess only time will tell which approach is the best.