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The Times 02/2009
There are an estimated 300,000 objects of more than 1cm in diameter orbiting the Earth, including about 12,000 satellites, of which only 6% are still functioning. US Space Command monitors about 18,000 objects that it considers to be dangerous.
Among the oddities in orbit are a glove, which was lost by an American astronaut doing repairs on the International Space Station (which is itself orbiting 135 miles up). If you include debris that is less than 1cm in diameter, the total rises to tens of millions of items. These are added to by the shooting-down of satellites that have outlived their usefulness with ballistic missiles. China destroyed a satellite by this means in 2007, as did the United States last year.