With media headlines repeatedly warning us of debris falling from the skies, orbital debris, or “space junk,” has finally risen to the forefront of social consciousness. But what is space junk? How did it get there? Just how big (and serious) is the problem?

Space Junk 3D, narrated by Academy Award® nominee Tom Wilkinson, is the first movie to explore the exponentially expanding ring of debris that threatens the safety of our planet’s orbits. Harnessing the magical imagery of 3D Giant Screen, Full Dome and Digital Theater, Director Melissa Butts takes us soaring—from the stunning depths of Meteor Crater to an unprecedented view of our increasingly crowded orbits, 22,000 miles above Earth.

On-screen, Don Kessler, (ret.) Head of NASA’s Orbital Debris Office and the “Father of Space Junk,” reaches back to the beginning of our solar system for understanding and guides us through the challenges we face in protecting our orbits for the future. At risk is the future of space exploration and the safety of the extensive satellite network that powers our modern day communication systems. This visually explosive journey of discovery weighs the solutions aimed at restoring Earth’s orbits.

Fueling this story are stunning 3D images that transport the viewer by wrapping us in star fields and allowing us to witness massive collisions in space—both natural and man-made—as though we were in the center of the action. “Since no actual images exist of the most spectacular orbital debris events,” explains Butts, ” we set out to recreate them with scientific accuracy and mind-blowing visualization.”

Length: 23:00 and 37:00

Film Details

  • Year Released: 2012
  • Date Released:
    January 2012
  • Alternate Titles:
  • Status: In Distribution
  • 3D: Yes
  • Run Time: 20-30, 31-50
  • Formats: 15/70, DCI-compliant Digital, IMAX Digital, Fulldome
  • Distributor:

    K2 Studios

  • Produced By:
    Melrae Pictures, Red Barn
  • Executive Producer:
  • Producer: Melissa Butts, Kim Rowe
  • Director:  Melissa Butts
  • Associate Producer: 
  • Writer:  Shane Colton, Michael Benson
  • Cinematography: Reed Smoot
  • Sound Editor: 
  • Visual Effects: Luke Ployhar
  • Music/Score:  Tom Hambleton
  • Editor:
  • Narrator: Tom Wilkinson
  • Other Credits:
  • Sponsors:


  • Documentary
  • Space


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