While it’s common to think of the universe as dark, mysterious and infinite, it’s less often that we consider all the human-made space junk floating around nearby. The cosmos is a graveyard of spacecraft—each with its own story. These defunct vessels “glide silently in Earth’s vicinity” with “their mission to chronicle the wonders of the universe long ended.” The Kepler, for instance, trails our planet since running out of fuel in 2018. This week, NASA will switch off the Spitzer telescope, which has spent 16 years in orbit. Several companies are attempting to recapture some; “they’re doing it as part of an effort to clean up an environment filled with space junk, but similar technology could be used to pull historically significant spacecraft into higher, safer orbits, or even toward one another to create an exhibit.” Read more about the space graveyard at The Atlantic.
Our Cosmos is a Spacecraft Graveyard