A fascinating new infographic has revealed the countries with the most space junk left in orbit.
The graph reveals who the worst offenders are when it comes to leaving garbage in space.
Researchers from Corby-based electronic company RS Components made use of data from space-tracking.org to analyze how many pieces of trash are currently orbiting our planet, and who they belong to.
Scientists found that the United States leads the race when it comes to space junk having 4,037 items floating around the Earth. Russia follows them in second place with 4,035 pieces orbiting the Earth.
France is in third place with 334 pieces of junk left around Earth.
According to experts, there are more than 12,000 pieces of so-called space junk floating around the planet. Scientists warn that the number could increase. They also say that this amount of space junk represents an active threat to satellites.
The space junk left behind by several countries varies in size. There’s trash orbiting our planet as big as spent rocket stages, to garnage as little as paint flakes.
However, even the smallest piece of space junk can create catastrophic damage as these fragments can travel at speeds over 27,000kmh, destroying satellites in an instant.
Countries that have fewer than 100 objects in space include India (81), Japan (52), the People’s Republic of China and Brazil (52), Canada (5) and the UK (1).
The sheer number of trash in space raises numerous problems and is already one of the biggest problems when it comes to spaceflight. We need to consider how we can remove space junk as quickly and efficiently as possible.