Earth lost fight to keep orbit clean of space junk

WASHINGTON (AP) ? Experts say there’s so much junk in space that we may need to finally think about cleaning it up.

That may mean vacuuming up space debris with cosmic versions of nets, magnets and giant umbrellas. A new report says the situation got worse because of two recent events ? a Chinese weapon test and the crash of two satellites.

Space junk can cause fatal leaks in spaceships or destroy valuable satellites. The International Space Station sometimes has to move out of the way of debris.

Since the space age began, the area just above Earth’s atmosphere has been littered with leftover boosters and old satellites. There are now agreements to limit space junk but the report says the two recent events doubled the amount of fragments.