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Debris adrift in space

Revealed - the hidden world of space debris

Space junk made visible, audible and personal. Explore the mysteries and contradictions of space debris, beautiful, but potentially destructive.

Adrift reveals the hidden and growing world of man-made debris floating in space. Created by filmmaker and Sundance Award recipient Cath Le Couteur and audio specialist and BAFTA winner Nick Ryan, the project reveals the intangible world of space junk.  

Nick and Cath have produced a series of audio visual art works which will allow you to:

  • Adopt a piece of space junk via twitter
  • Watch a new documentary
  • Listen to a new sonic installation

Here comes the science...

More than 500,000 small pieces are currently orbiting earth and a further 27,000 pieces are larger than 10cm and being tracked by NASA and the US Department of Defense. Each piece is travelling at speeds of up to 17,500mph. There are also millions of smaller, untracked pieces left behind by space missions which could damage satellites or spacecraft and cause friction between nations.

Filmmaker Cath Le Couteur said:

" This is the most beautiful junk in the world. And that's what is particularly fascinating: we're showing both a floating museum of space exploration and a real growing environmental hazard. This is an issue that is well known and a cause for concern in science circles but less known outside. We are hoping that Adrift will open people's eyes to the spectacle that's occuring not very far above our heads."

You can keep an eye on the project @ProjectAdrift and on the website

Adrift has won a range of awards...

‘Best Foreign Short’, Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards, Jan 2017

‘Award of Excellence: Documentary Short’, Accolade Global Film Competition

‘Best STEAM’  New Media Film Festival, LA, 2017

‘Best Woman Filmmaker’ IndieFest Film Awards, 2017

During the summer of 2017, Adrift appeared at a number of Festivals, including WOMAD and Port Eliot and Machine 9 featured at the Mona Foma Festival in Australia during 2019.

A space suit, a satellite and piece of space debris orbit the globeAdopt a piece of space junk via twitter

'Machine 9' is a handcrafted electromechanical sound instrument that tracks the positions of 27,000 pieces of space junk, transforming them into sound, in real time, as they pass overhead.

You can find out more about the project and Machine 9 in this short film

For more on Adrift read our case study: Adrift: bringing space debris to life for audiences globally

Adopt a piece of space junk