Washington: China, a relative newcomer to the space age, has topped the list of countries contributing to space debris, according to a study by the Russian space agency, Roscosmos.
China accounts for 40 percent of the space debris, followed by the United States, which produces 27.5 percent.
Russia stood at the third position, with 25.5 percent of space debris, the study showed, reports Discovery News.
And the credit for catapulting China to the top of the orbital garbage heap goes to the Chinese military, which deliberately destroyed a defunct weather satellite in 2007 to test a missile.
The explosion created more than 2,800 pieces of free-flying shrapnel.
Overall, there’s more than 10,000 dead spacecraft, rocket bodies and other relics of the space age circling Earth, all of which present a formidable challenge for governments, researchers and companies wishing to operate satellites for remote sensing, science, communications and other services.
The Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports that Russian scientists have proposed the creation of an international airspace system for monitoring the near-Earth space environment, an idea that already has support internationally.