Russian rocket disintegrates in Earth's orbit leaving behind 65 pieces of dangerous space debris that could damage other satellites
A Russian rocket used to launch a scientific satellite into space has broken apart after nine years in orbit - leaving a dozens of pieces of debris around the Earth.
The Fregat-SB is a type of space tug and its upper stage was left floating after it helped deliver the Spektr-R satellite in 2011, according to Roscosmos.
Spektr-R was a radio telescope launched by the Russian space agency but it stopped responding to ground control last year and was declared dead in May 2019.
Roscosmos confirmed the breakdown of the rocket happened on May 8 between 06:00 and 07:00 BST somewhere above the Indian ocean.
The Russian space agency is studying data to find out how many parts it broke up into and where they are currently orbiting the planet.
The US18 Space Control Squadron that tracks all objects in Earth's orbit say there are at least 65 pieces from the rocket in orbit.
US18 wrote on Twitter: 'Confirmed that the breakup of FREGAT DEB occurred on May 8, 2020, between 0402 and 0551 UTC. Tracking 65 associated pieces – no indication caused by collision.'
Space debris is becoming a big problem for agencies and gets worse every time something new is launched into orbit as there is always something left behind.
At the speeds these fragments spin around the Earth they pose a serious risk to satellites, spacecraft and even humans on board the International Space Station.
NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and others are all putting money into finding new technologies to clear up space debris.
JG66, Padstow, United Kingdom
Mankind is a filthy creature ...as usual, we c r a p on our environment despite knowing full well the consequences, yet, doing nothing about until it's too late .. our demise will be self inflicted.
Dick Small, Littlehampton, United Kingdom
GreatUncleBulgaria, Wimbledon, United Kingdom
65 pieces of junk doesn't compare to the thousands that Elon Musk is sending up.
D-22, Frome, United Kingdom
Musk's constellation deorbits within a few years, unlike the other junk
Ian the original, Newbury
Most of the junk flying around up there comes from when China used a missile to blow up one of their old satellites.
jimnyj, leeds, United Kingdom
No where near the tons of junk that the Americans have left floating in orbit.
J.Paul, Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
The law of unintended consequences. It's the one mankind ignores most often.