It's been 53 years and over 4,500 launches since the dawn of the space age, and Earth's orbit is a junkyard. Our orbit is littered with spent rocket stages, lens caps, broken-up satellites, frozen urine, the odd glove, bits of foil, and the tool kit
dropped by astronaut Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper during a spacewalk in 2008. You name it; the low Earth orbit has probably got it.
Millions of pieces of this space debris orbit the globe at break-neck speeds, and the spacecraft that pass through orbit are in jeopardy from even the smallest objects. But while the problem is evident, the solution remains elusive. Will Earth's orbit forever resemble a scene from WALL-E
? Many scientists have now turned their attention to cleaning up the clutter.