written by ramin skiba, on november 17th, 2021

what: us space force begins initiative for international focus on cleaning up space junk
where: millions of pieces of debris are now a threat in low orbit
why: debris endangers the iss, increases orbital collision possibilities, and poses a danger to satellites and future space missions.
when: beginning 2023
how: the us space force technology arm, spacewerkx
, will initially award dozens of contracts worth $250,000 each, to companies that have the ability to whisk trash out of harm’s way, as well as to perform other duties like refueling and repairing orbiting spacecraft to prevent them from becoming derelict.

interesting fact: the pentagon currently tracks 27,000 pieces of debris in orbit, which include everything from dead spacecraft and used-up rocket boosters to the detritus left behind from satellite-destroying missile tests.

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