There are up to 500,000 pieces of space junk orbiting Earth right now, any of which could veer off course and damage one of our satellites, leaving us in the dark.
Only about 5,000 of them are functioning. With little regulation and monitoring, the problem of space junk is growing exponentially. Just like your city streets, there are dedicated "highways" in space. Most of the time, objects remain on their path. But when a space object stops working, it drifts aimlessly into the cosmos.
Rogue bits of metal and space debris pose a danger to the technologies we rely on and to the future of space exploration. We need an accountability program. We must ensure companies don’t act in their self-interest at the expense of future generations.
So who's responsible for this chaos in space?
We all are.
Dr. Moriba Jah developed the ASTRIAgraph which is a real-time tracking project that charts 26,000 satellites and objects that orbit the Earth, dating back to the 1950s.
The ASTRIAGraph is a framework that enables monitoring, assessment, and verification of space-actor-behavior in the context of legal and policy instruments. It supports Anthropogenic Space Objects (ASOs) visualization and tracking, as well as space traffic management queries through a publicly-accessible web platform.