Space: Dodging Celestial Garbage

Right now, there are 3,800 pieces of junk circling the earth

To the minstrels of medieval Europe, the moon was a kind of celestial junkyard. They consigned to lunar banishment a dolorous assortment of such earthly intangibles as broken vows, fruitless tears and misspent time. Today the moon is a repository of more substantial material: it harbors a pile of gear, left behind by Apollo astronauts, that includes one moon buggy, $5 million worth of camera equipment and two golf balls that Alan Shepard whacked with a makeshift six iron to unplayable lies in...

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