Major corporations and science research organizations are actively vying to send satellites into orbit for extraordinary reasons – developing free internet connection; enhancing GPS systems; monitoring climate change.

But while humanity continues to advance technologically, experts are growing increasingly worried about a major issue: We’ve found a new area of the universe to pollute. As of 2021, NASA said, more than 27,000 pieces of orbital debris, or “space junk,” resided in our planet’s gravitational tides – and since then, SpaceX alone has sent hundreds more satellites up there.

Typically, when they are done with their equipment, scientists kind of just wait until stuff in Earth’s orbit starts de-orbiting and eventually burns up in our atmosphere. This natural process, however, can take a very long time.

A man-made problem

Over the years, humankind has sent more than 10,000 tonnes into....

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