# If we stopped sending stuff into space today, how long would it take for man-made Space Junk to stop orbiting the planet?

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If we stopped sending stuff into space today, how long would it take for man-made Space Junk to stop orbiting the planet?

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### 7 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

According to NASA, it depends on how high up the debris is.

“How long will orbital debris remain in Earth orbit?
The higher the altitude, the longer the orbital debris will typically remain in Earth orbit. Debris left in orbits below 600 km normally fall back to Earth within several years. At altitudes of 800 km, the time for orbital decay is often measured in centuries. Above 1,000 km, orbital debris will normally continue circling the Earth for a thousand years or more.”
[source](https://orbitaldebris.jsc.nasa.gov/faq/)

Anonymous 0 Comments

Some of our obsolete satellites have a pre-programmed fall-back-to-Earth date. Space junk itself, from small orbital debris to larger dead satellites, can theoretically stay in orbit around earth for a thousand years or more. The higher the altitude, the longer the orbital debris will remain in orbit.

Anonymous 0 Comments

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Anonymous 0 Comments

Long. Dead satilites in GEO graveyards would orbit for millioms of years before they’d reenter.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Vsauce has a video on this but I can’t remember which one it was. He mentioned some satellites that were put up there to remain for as long as possible, which carried information about humanity incase we go extinct. They could keep their orbit for 10 billion years or so. So any new intelligent life form on earth (or aliens) could go retrieve it and learn about us.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s difficult to give a specific answer to how long it would take for all man-made space debris to stop orbiting the Earth if we stopped sending objects into space today, as it would depend on a variety of factors such as the size, mass, and altitude of the debris and the amount of atmospheric drag it experiences. However, most space debris will eventually re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up within a few decades of being released into orbit. There is already a significant amount of space debris orbiting the Earth, and it would likely take several decades or even centuries for all of this debris to re-enter the atmosphere and be removed from orbit.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Low earth orbits are always in a tiny bit of atmosphere and it will eventually slow them down enough so that they fall in. The easiest way to think about orbits is moving so fast as you are falling toward earth that you get out of the Earth’s way before you fall into it.