Report Warns Space Junk Reaching a tipping point

Intellitech sends this excerpt from a Reuters report: The amount of debris orbiting the Earth has reached a critical point for the collisions, which would in turn generate more debris that threatens the astronauts and satellites, according to a U.S. study published Thursday (PDF). … The amount of orbital debris tracked by the U.S. network of space surveillance increased from 9949 objects cataloged in December 2006 to 16,094 in July 2011, with nearly 20 percent of objects from the destruction of China Fengyun 1-C satellite, the National Research Council said. … the panel made two dozen recommendations for NASA to reduce and improve the environment of orbital debris, including collaboration with the State Department to develop the legal and regulatory framework to remove junk from space. The study, Limiting the risk of collision of spacecraft future: an assessment of NASA’s Meteoroid and programs orbital debris, was sponsored by NASA.