Russia just added to the big problem of space debris

An object from Russia's space agency has recently contributed to the growing problem of space debris in low-Earth orbit.

1 minute & 27 seconds read time

On April 15th, the US 18th Space Defence Squadron announced that there were an additional 16 pieces of space debris being trapped in low earth orbit.

Russia just added to the big problem of space debris 01

The new space debris was tracked back to object #32398, which was discovered to be an ullage motor that was used to transport three Russian satellites into orbit back in 2007. These ullage motors are used to correctly position the parent rocket's fuel before the engine is restarted in orbit. These rockets were created to push the fuel down once the rocket has entered orbit as there is no gravity, as explained by Astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell.

At the moment, there are 64 of these ullage motors floating around in Earth's orbit. Notably, the 18th space defense Squadron confirmed the break up of SL-12 R/B, adding that they are tracking the additional 16 pieces of space debris and that there is an ongoing analysis. Furthermore, the European Space Agency believes that there are about 36000 individual pieces of space debris larger than 4 inches in width currently in low Earth orbit.

Lastly, this isn't the first time Russia has contributed to the problem of space debris as the Russian space agency conducted an anti-satellite weapon's test on one of their own defunct satellites in November 2021, adding hundreds of new pieces of junk to Earth's orbit.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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