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What Happens When an Astronaut Drops Something in Space?

Discarded rocket parts, empty fuel tanks, broken satellites—our planet is surrounded by a floating junkyard of human-made space debris. Zipping around the Earth at more than 17,000 miles an hour, these orbital objects pose a serious threat to the future of safe space travel. In this fascinating short film by Cath Le Couteur, explore the hidden and dangerous world of space junk.

Adrift is part of Project Adrift, a multi-experience artwork created by Cath Le Couteur and Nick Ryan. Visit to watch the documentary, listen to the sound of orbiting space debris, and adopt a piece of space junk on Twitter that will tweet you live from space as it orbits Earth. Follow the filmmakers on Twitter at @ProjectAdrift.

The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the world and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic's belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. To submit a film for consideration, please email The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners.