Space Jam

Space is getting crowded. The biggest challenge is space junk—the debris that results when satellites break up or get shot down. If we aren’t careful, space junk, and space conflict, could cause a lot of problems down here on Earth.

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  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Director, Podcasting

Asher Ross - Supervising Producer

Markus Zakaria - Audio Producer and Sound Designer

Rafaela Siewert - Associate Podcast Producer

Episode Guests
  • Charles F. Bolden
    Former Administrator of NASA
  • Stewart M. Patrick
    James H. Binger Senior Fellow in Global Governance and Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program
  • Lt. Gen. David D. Thompson
    Vice Commander, U.S. Air Force Space Command

Show Notes

We often envision space as a dark, empty void. But in recent decades, Earth’s orbital zone has become crowded and dangerous. One factor is the proliferation of satellites, many of them privately owned. Another is space junk, or the growing mass of debris left behind when satellites break up or are shot down. Some experts say that, without new rules of the road, space junk—and the militarization of space—could lead to catastrophe. 


From CFR


The Danger of Space Debris,” Micah Zenko


Space Exploration and U.S. Competitiveness,” Steven J. Markovich and Andrew Chatzky


Read More


The Right Way to Achieve Security in Space,” Foreign Affairs


Space Threat Assessment 2019, Center for Strategic and International Studies 


Space war is coming—and the U.S. is not ready,” Politico


Is there anything we can do to tackle space debris?,” MIT Technology Review


Meet the Space Custodians: Debris Cleanup Plans Emerge,”


The Danger of Space Junk,” Atlantic


Watch and Listen


Space Junk Around Earth,” DCODE by Discovery


End of Space–Creating a Prison for Humanity,” Kurzgesagt


This 19-year-old can keep astronauts safe from space junk,” Vox 


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