In 1996, a French satellite was hit and damaged by debris from a French rocket that had exploded a decade earlier.
In 2009, a defunct Russian spacecraft collided with and destroyed a functioning US Iridium commercial spacecraft. The collision added more than 2,300 pieces of large, trackable debris and many more smaller debris to the inventory of space junk.
China’s 2007 anti-satellite test, which used a missile to destroy an old weather satellite, added more than 3,500 pieces of large, trackable debris and many more smaller debris to the debris problem.
“When you consider that the number of objects that size or greater is approximately 22,000, that one irresponsible action represents a significant portion of the total debris in orbit today,” said Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston.
In September last year, the ISS was forced to change course in an emergency manouvre to avoid debris from a japanese rocket.
In a separate incident, Elon Musk’s SpaceX recently accused British rival OneWeb of “misleading” the public by claiming that their satellites nearly collided in orbit.
A SpaceX satellite came within 190ft of a OneWeb craft in April, prompting OneWeb to make an evasive manoeuvre, the company said.
Following the incident, Chris McLaughlin, the regulatory head at OneWeb, told The Wall Street Journal that Mr Musk’s business “has a gung-ho approach to space.”
SpaceX forcefully denied this claim in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission.
This Article firstly Publish on www.telegraph.co.uk