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TOSSED IN SPACE: 7,000 PIECES OF ORBITING JUNK POSE RISKS

What a pigsty! Old satellites and shattered rocket parts are turning Earth's orbit into a dump.

So far, scientists have found 7,000 large pieces of space junk - from the size of baseballs to the size of school buses - circling the Earth. And that doesn't include billions of pieces of smaller debris.Because of the high speed of everything in orbit, even a tiny flake of metal can hit a spacecraft with the force of an exploding hand grenade. So the orbiting junk could destroy a satellite, shuttle or even the future space station.

NASA is planning to redesign spacecraft so they don't litter. But even if no new junk is dumped, there's still a problem: as larger pieces of space junk collide, they break up and cause even more litter. Anyone have a giant broom?