How fast is space junk?

Still curious? Read more: Tackling space junk

At the speed of junk

Ever since the launch of the world’s first satellite in 1957, we’ve been sending stuff into space. While originally useful, millions of pieces are now just junk. And they’re floating fast in space. Even a small object can have a big impact, especially if it collides head-on with something moving at a similar speed.


Debris size (cm): 0.3

Mass (g): 0.038

Kenetic energy (J): 1,910

Energy similar to: bullet


Debris size (cm): 1

Mass (g): 1.41

Kenetic energy (J): 70,700

Energy similar to: falling piano


Debris size (cm): 5

Mass (g): 176.7

Kenetic energy (J): 8,840,000

Energy similar to: hit by a bus


Debris size (cm): 10

Mass (g): 1,413.7

Kenetic energy (J): 70,700,000

Energy similar to: large bomb