There is a scene in Dances with Wolves after Costner's character has arrived at the deserted Dakota base in which he discovers the company's garbage pile. He gives it a disappointing, scrutinizing look as he recognizes it's another harbinger of what is to come for the plains and its people. Fast forward 150 years to a different kind of frontier: space, in near-Earth orbit. There, we find a similar garbage pile, only this one is traveling at 30,000 miles per hour and threatens all the satellites and telescopes and space stations floating about. No one knows just how many bits of debris are up there, but it doesn't take much for one to wreak havoc—anything larger than 1 cm can pose a serious threat. Even relatively slow-moving 0.3 mm paint flecks have been known to collide with the Space Shuttle's windscreens and cause damage.