Our planet's orbit is badly in need of some maid service, according to scientists.
Italian scientists proposed a new spacecraft satellite that would work to clean our orbit of junk, such as rockets, the BBC reported. The satellite would come in contact with the debris and attach a propellant kit that would push it to the Earth's atmosphere.
Once in the atmosphere, that piece of debris would burn up and be gone.
The study was published in the journal Acta Astronautica.
An overabundance of junk in the Earth's orbit has been a growing problem for years. There are currently more than 17,000 objects larger than 10 centimeters residing in the low-Earth orbit, the BBC reported.
"In our opinion the problem is very challenging and it's quite urgent as well," Marco Castronuovo, an Italian Space Agency researcher who authored the paper told BBC News. "The time to act is now, as we go farther in time we will need to remove more and more fragments."
Explosions are responsible for most of the junk in space, according to NASA. Three of the drifting fragmentations are known to have been caused by accidental collisions.
Earlier this year, the International Space Station had to execute a collision avoidance maneuver to protect a satellite from the debris of another satellite, according to a publication of NASA's Orbital Debris Program Office.
Castronuovo acknowledged the political problems that could sprout up from this proposed satellite.
"This kind of approach could be seen as a threat to operative systems. If you have the power to go to an object in space and pull it down, nothing prevents you from going to an operative satellite and pulling it down, so it's really a delicate matter," Castronuovo told BBC News.