NASA monitors 50,000+ space debris objects

- There are more than 50,000 objects orbiting Earth, according to government officials.

NASA released an animation shows the large amount of space debris in motion around Earth, and admit they can fall from the sky and onto Earth. The debris is described as man-made objects in space, such as old satellites, spent rocket stages, and fragments from erosion and collisions. 

On average, NASA officials say, a total of between 200 to 400 tracked objects enter Earth’s atmosphere every year, which is about one per day. 

Human populations are rarely affected considering we live on a small percentage of the planet’s total surface area. Any objects that do not burn up when entering the atmosphere are likely to fall into the ocean, which covers more than 70 percent of Earth’s surface.

NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense monitors the thousands of objects, in which 60 percent are tiny, but 40 percent (about 20,000) are larger than a softball. About 1,000 are spacecraft, the agencies say. 

Learn more about space debris here

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