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What are the chances of being hit by falling space junk? © Getty Images

What are the chances of being hit by falling space junk?

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In 1997 falling space debris from the Detla II rocket hit Oklahoman Lottie Williams, so getting struck by space junk may not be as unlikely as you would think.

Asked by: Theresa Brooks, Cumbria


There are over 1,400 satellites orbiting over us, plus thousands of pieces of space junk that might survive entry through the Earth’s atmosphere. But the chances of being hit are extremely low.

Most of the Earth is covered by sea, and the majority of land is uninhabited. All told, the European Space Agency puts the lifetime risk of being hit at less than a billion to one.


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Robert is a science writer and visiting professor of science at Aston University.


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