September 30, 2021
For educational institutions
Space junk timeline
⟶ Updated 3 Sep 2017 ⟶
List of edits
1957 FIRST PIECE OF SPACE JUNK WAS CREATED SPUTNIK was the world's first artificial satellite and it was launched into space by the Soviet Union. The body of the rocket that took it to space was the first piece of artificial space junk.
1961 Soviet Union launches Vostok 1 with the first human to space. The 4m long and 4725 kg heavy spacecraft was a significant piece of space debris since there wasn't many space debris during that time.
1971 NASA opened an office responsible for tracking objects too small to be tracked by the Air Force but large enough to cause issues.
2001 TES rocket body explotion
1970 Nimbus 4 rocket accidental explosion
2000 CBERS rocket explosion
1965 OV2-1 Rocket body explosion
1986 SPOT 1 rocket body accidental explosion
2007 Chinese military tested their anti-satellite technology on one of their dead satellites and this created an explosion which added over 2000 new pieces of space debris. This increased the space junk tally by 25%.
2012 Currently monitoring around 21000 pieces of space debris larger than around 2 inches.
E.T.C. 2017 7th European conference on space debris is estimated to take place. This is one of the largest organisations focusing on the subject of space debris.
2008 The US navy intercepted one of its dead spy satellites and the explosion created a trail of space debris that was reported to fall over northwest USA and Canada.
2003 On reentry into the atmosphere, the spacecraft Columbia carrying astronauts disintegrated and shed thousands of debris in the Eastern Texas area
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