The huge quantity of space trash being produced by the emerging commercial space industry is making large parts of space unusable, an expert has warned.
The industry has seen a huge boom in recent months and years with Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin at the forefront of it.
Dan Ceperley, CEO of the satellite tracking company LeoLabs, has claimed that the rapid growth of the commercial space industry is creating an orbital "Wild West" above the Earth.
The growing quantity of space trash makes the risk of a collision dangerously high, Mr Ceperley warned, with the sheer quantity substantially increasing the chances of a collision.
Mr Ceperley told Express.co.uk: "All this incredible growth we're seeing right now like broadband internet being delivered or soon to be delivered around the world, these safety services, these tracking services and the like, it starts to limit what we can actually do from space.
"In the extreme that this continues for a while, it starts to make, you know, big portions of space unusable."
He also warned that in the future industry leaders will have to think carefully about the things they are putting into space, as this could have massive detrimental impacts in the future.
Mr Ceperley also emphasised that the space race is now very different from its previous iteration during the Cold War contest between the world's superpowers.
Now, instead of competing for milestones like getting into orbit or going to the Moon, the new space race is about "building infrastructure" in orbit.
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This could include the launching infrastructure, or communications, or safety, with Mr Ceperley claiming that these form the basis of how space is used in the future.
Problems with trash and overcrowding in space came to light recently when billionaire Elon Musk drew the ire of the Chinese government after one of his private space projects had a close call with Chinese satellites.
Josef Aschbacher, boss of the European Space Agency, subsequently accused the billionaire of "making the rules" for the growing commercial space industry.
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