Earth has a space junk problem. Russian scientists launched the small satellite Sputnik in 1957. The satellite’s beeping signal is likely to mark the beginning of the Space Race. Such a thing would provoke Americans to launch Explorer I soon after.
The metal sphere was only the first of a number of satellites, rocket parts and spacecraft debris that constitute the over 500,000 bits of miscellany bigger than a marble that is presently orbiting our planet.