Statista releases list of countries dumping debris in outer space, India takes sixth position


Photo: IANS

Hamburg: It seems that wherever people go, they leave their mark. Unfortunately, they don’t always leave a positive impression. Space is one such arena where humans vie for supremacy and explore by pushing the boundaries. Here, too, they leave their mark in the form of space debris. From worn-out satellites to blobs of paint, countries’ spaceflight has left debris in its wake that poses a challenge to current and future space programs. Organizations like NASA have been actively involved in studying how their spaceflights are jeopardized by this debris floating in space.

Using data available from NASA itself, German database company Statista has published a list of countries responsible for producing the maximum amount of space debris, Moneycontrol reported.

Russia, one of the leading space powers, tops the list. With over 7,000 rocket bodies and other debris, Statista reported citing data dated February 4, 2022 from NASA’s Orbital Debris Quarterly News.

Russia is closely followed by its biggest rival, the United States with 5,216 pieces of debris.

Fast-rising China ranks third on the list with 3,845 pieces of debris.

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Japan and France are fourth and fifth with 520 and 117 pieces of debris respectively.

India, another of the fastest growing countries in terms of space technology and space exploration, ranked sixth with 114 pieces of debris.
The European Space Agency as a whole was seventh with 60 pieces, and the United Kingdom was eighth on that list with just one piece of debris.

But while debris being dumped into space is already a major concern, the increasing use of missiles by countries to blow up their own satellites in space after they have exceeded their usefulness is another reason for the increasing numbers of debris drifting into space outer space. This is often done by countries to test their anti-satellite capabilities (ASAT).

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The growing amount of space debris is jeopardizing space programs as it has increased the likelihood of spacecraft, space stations and satellites colliding with the debris.

Bumper is one of the tools used to combat space debris. Developed by NASA, it helps the agency determine how likely it is that a spacecraft will be damaged by debris during its operational life.
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