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170000000 Pieces of Space Junk
April 28, 2013 | Sixth European Conference on Space Debris

“Since 1957, more than 4,900 space launches have led to an on-orbit population today of more than 22,000 trackable objects, with sizes larger than 10 cm. Approximately 1,000 of these are operational spacecraft. The remaining 94% are space debris, i.e. objects which no longer serve any useful purpose. [...] In addition, an estimated 700,000 objects larger than 1 cm and 170 million objects larger than 1 mm are expected to be in Earth orbits.” Quoted from the ESA Conference on Space Debris.


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GOCE Satellite Expected to Fall this Weekend
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The European Space Agency’s Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer satellite is expected to fall from orbit this weekend. Space experts believe that 25 to 45 pieces of the craft will survive the fall to earth, with the largest pieces weighing up to 200 pounds. The location of impact is unknown.

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