The Mountains Where Space Junk Litter

The Altai Mountains in Central Asia is exceedingly beautiful with snow-capped peaks, rich pine forests and valleys studded with stunning alpine lakes and glaciers. The region is sparsely inhabited by various ethnic tribes, who lead a quiet and contented life herding sheep and buffaloes, raising bees, and growing grains and leguminous plants. But their peace is routinely shattered by debris from rocket parts that fall from the sky.

space junk in altai mountains

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Villagers collecting scrap from a crashed spacecraft, surrounded by thousands of white butterflies. Photo credit: Jonas Bendiksen/Magnum


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