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OMG, space is full of junk! Guess which country rammed into a something?

That's right. The same folks who brought is that fun virus! In fairness they hit an old rocket booster.

Take evasive action!

SpaceX's Starlink satellites have been forced to perform more than 25,000 course corrections in the last six months to avoid collisions with other spacecraft and orbital debris, according to a report filed by the company at the end of June. That figure is double the number of maneuvers performed in the previous six months. Indeed, experts fear that the need to evade is only going to rise exponentially as the orbital environment gets busier — by 2028, some predict that SpaceX satellites would need to make as many as 1 million such maneuvers every six months.

The vastness of space…

May not be vast enough. Indeed, space debris — or space junk — is a growing problem. The European Space Agency currently tracks nearly 34,000 objects bigger than 10 centimeters in size, all classified as space debris. While some debris in lower Earth orbit can burn up on re-entry, debris left at higher altitudes of 36,000km+ can continue to orbit Earth for hundreds of years.

This space junk is contributing to the growing fear of an idea known as the Kessler Syndrome, in which a cycle of increased debris would cause increased collisions and so on and so forth, leading to Earth’s orbit becoming essentially unusable.

Fortunately, actual space collisions remain relatively rare — the last one came in 2021 when a Chinese satellite smashed into a rocket body left over from 1996. Aside from that, there have been no other unintentional collisions in the past 10 years. However, as SpaceX is planning to increase its current satellite count from 4,000 to 30,000 in the coming years, it seems that more and more collisions could be written in the stars.

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