Something to add to 2020, the threat of space junk collisions getting real. A worry that’s been part of the space industry for decades has been the possibility that a collision in orbit could create so much debris that the debris would collide with other satellites, cascading around the planet, effectively eliminating much of the infrastructure we’ve put into orbit. Within less than twelve hours of this post being typed, two large items will approach each other closely enough to worry satellite owners and operators – and those who understand the ramifications. Why worry about two pieces of junk running into each other? Collectively they weigh over 3 tons, and they’re approaching each other at almost 33,000 miles per hour. Such a cascade of debris could make it more dangerous to launch astronauts, satellites, or other necessary things into space, effectively denying our civilization essential infrastructure. At last check, the odds were less than 50%, but greater than 10%. Unfortunately, no one organization has both the authority and responsibility to manage the situation, partly because no one can profit from it, and – like in car wrecks – there’s an attitude that it’s someone else’s fault.

2 big pieces of space junk could collide Thursday night” – Space.com

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