Who Owns All The Space Junk?

When man-made objects are left to orbit space when they no longer correctly function, this coins the term of space debris - or space junk. Whether it’s an abandoned mobile launch platform, fragmentation debris or the remains of an abandoned space shuttle, there are thousands of pieces of space junk currently orbiting the earth.

Not only does this debris travel fast enough to damage a spacecraft or satellite, it can also affect space vehicles that humans are travelling in.

Junk is emerging in space from multiple different countries, but which country has the most? The graphic below reveals it all.


Space Junk infographic

So there we have it, Russia and it’s commonwealth allies currently have the most space junk circulating space, with the US, China, France and India following closely behind.

Efforts to clean up space have been underway for a number of years, but there’s still a long way to go - and, until then, it seems like Israel and Italy are the countries to follow. Although they have in the past, these two countries don’t currently have any debris in orbit due to junk that has since decayed.

The UK’s efforts are significant too, with one piece of junk currently in orbit (although four that have been in orbit but since decayed), they’re one of the countries working towards an improved and cleaner space.

In recent years, we’ve seen a host of efforts put in place to attempt to reduce and combat space junk, including the likes of orbital fishing gear, tiny thrusters, and space feathers. What will we see next?

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