OK, how many moons does the Earth have? If you answered “one,” you failed to consider all the human-built moons that still orbit the planet.
As of 2016, the United States Strategic Command was tracking almost 18,000 artificial objects in orbit around the earth. Only 1,400 of those artificial satellites currently function — the rest are space junk. This plethora of orbiting debris poses a variety of risks to other spacecraft and very rarely, to the earthbound as well.
University of Wisconsin Historian Lisa Ruth Rand has been studying the issue of space junk, and she joins Eight O’Clock Buzz host Brian Standing in the studio.