ORBITAL DEBRIS UPDATE: Space junk raises risks for Hubble repair mission. “Space shuttle Atlantis is now in a rough orbital neighborhood—a place littered with thousands of pieces of space junk zipping around the Earth at nearly 20,000 mph. There are more pieces of shattered satellites and used-up rockets in this region than astronauts have ever encountered. And the crew must be there for more than a week to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. As soon as the job is complete, the shuttle will scamper to safety.” The risk is still fairly low.