Millions of objects floating in orbit around the planet could one day lead to a disastrous collision in space.
That is the concern of the European Space Agency, that is hoping to tackle the growing problem of space debris.
It fears could one day lead to an impact like an ‘exploding grenade’ on the objects in space, such as the International Space Station (ISS).
Experts believe the junk could leave regions of space unsuitable for space flight and are holding an international meeting next week to address the issue head on.
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Over the past 60 years of launching rockets, satellite and other spacecraft, a cloud of debris has accumulated in orbit of the planet.
More than 18,000 of these objects are tracked from the ground, according to the ESA.
There are at least 750,000 fragments of space junk the size of a coin floating above Earth, and millions that are even smaller.
Only 1,100 of these objects are functional spacecraft.
At typical impact speeds of 40,000 km/h (25,000 miles per hour), this material could do serious damage to satellites and spacecraft.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has released a new video exploring the issue, as well as the measures it hopes to take.
Since 1957, more than 4,900 space launches have led to millions of objects above the planet.
A tiny proportion of these are working spacecrafts, with the remainder – around 94 per cent – objects which no longer serve any useful purpose.
About 64 per cent of the routinely tracked objects are fragments from 250 breakups, explosions and collisions of satellites or rocket bodies.
And the fear is that these objects could one day cause catastrophic harm to astronauts or technology.