Just The Facts

Space Junk: The French Factor

Much of the French debris can be traced to an accident in 1996, when a military satellite collided with a spent French rocket.

Credit: Andrey VP Shutterstock.com


  • France is the 4th biggest contributor to “space junk” including spent rockets and retired satellites.
  • Over 500 cataloged objects in the orbit are attributable to France, which is 3% of the total number.
  • France was the third country, after Soviet Union and US, to launch its own satellite into space.

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