Space junk forces astronauts to cower in escape pods

There's tons of junk swirling around our planet, so much that the International Space Station (ISS) astronauts had to sleep in escape pods in case some of it punctured their orbiting home. When NASA detected an approaching piece of space debris last week, the six-person ISS crew spent the night in two Russian Soyuz spacecraft docked at the ISS. Those capsules are fortified enough to use as escape pods.

Luckily, the small piece of space junk ended up not even coming close to the space station. Still, this is getting to be a tremendous problem.

Jeez. Why do we humans — quickly earning a reputation as Earth's most damaging weed species — have to make such a mess of everything we touch? It seems inevitable that one of those pieces of debris will slam into the space station at tens of thousands of miles per hour. In fact, the U.S. Air Force plans to drop $500 million next year to help clean up this mess. At this rate, we'll never get to Mars.

Via Daily Tech