Space Junk Video Shows What 500,000 Objects In Orbit Really Looks Like

17/03/2014 11:02 GMT | Updated 17/03/2014 11:59 GMT

How much stuff is orbiting the Earth?

Well, there's the Moon, for starters. Then the Space Station. After that you've pretty much got a few communication satellites, some mysteriously empty space suits and George Clooney. That's it right?


In fact there is an incredible amount of stuff orbiting Earth, and it's becoming a serious problem for existing space craft and new launches. Last month the European Space Agency announced a new mision - e.DeOrbit - designed to capture debris with nets or harpoons in order to send it back down to Earth.

"Decades of launches have left Earth surrounded by a halo of space junk: more than 17,000 trackable objects larger than a coffee cup, which threaten working missions with catastrophic collision," ESA said.

"Even a 1 cm nut could hit with the force of a hand grenade."

To prove it they sent out this video of more than 500,000 pieces of debris orbiting the Earth. It's an amazing insight into the scale of the problem.