The Scary Truth About Space Junk


Need a last-minute idea for a Halloween costume contest? Try dressing up as space junk.

If anyone asks why your costume is so scary, tell them that according to NASA, “as of January 2022, the amount of material orbiting the Earth exceeded 9,000 metric tons.”

That’s over 19 million pounds of orbital debris—and a massive problem. However, the FCC has begun cracking down on the issue, recently issuing its first fine on the matter.

FCC issues first-ever fine for leaving junk in space

After failing to properly deorbit its EchoStar-7 satellite, Dish Network has been hit with a $150,000 penalty.

Head over to this article by The Verge to learn more about how Dish’s plan for the satellite fell through, and why it’s such a big deal.

Nokia Bell Labs makes submarine cables go blinkin’ fast

Earlier this month, Nokia Bell Labs set two new submarine cable speed records using a technology that increases an optical network’s Baud rate. has the full scoop on this breakthrough, and its sustainability implications.

Microsoft’s data centers are going nuclear

This Computerworld piece offers a clue that Microsoft may be moving to integrate small nuclear reactors into its data centers.

Interestingly, the clue stems from a public job posting.

One World, Two Networks?

Also worth checking out: Research Director Alan Mauldin’s 2023 Submarine Networks World presentation.

Using the very latest TeleGeography data, Alan’s “Subsea Cold War”-centered slides answer three big questions:

  • How close are we to seeing two separate networks (one Chinese-aligned and one U.S.-aligned)?
  • Is China becoming less of an interconnection hub?
  • Are Chinese capacity prices behaving differently than other countries/routes?


Think you’ve got something that should be on our monthly reading list? Tweet it to us @TeleGeography.


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