Russia's Phobos-Grunt Mars probe is expected to fall back to Earth mid-January from its failed mission. Around the same time a new film is released at space centers worldwide to raise awareness about the dangers of the more than 6,000 tons of debris orbiting Earth.
Space.com has more on the IMAX 3D film "Space Junk 3D":
Blending scientific information with state-of-the-art, 3D visualizations, "Space Junk 3D" takes the viewer from the depths of Meteor Crater in Arizona to the growing spread of Earth-orbiting debris — a troubling legacy of more than five decades of multiple nations lofting space hardware.
"After half a century of space exploration we're now suddenly faced with what has long been a staple of science fiction ... an orbiting junkyard of cast-off space debris," notes popular British character actor Tom Wilkinson, who narrates the film.
Here's the film's trailer:
Watch behind the scenes footage from the movie:
Don Kessler, former head of NASA's Orbital Debris Office and the "Father of Space Junk," says it "isn't a coincidence that media headlines of falling debris are growing just as we launch this film. As we started researching this story we found that most scientists agree we've reached this tipping point where orbital debris will continue to grow exponentially if we don't address the problem."