Three and a half years after China intentionally blew up a satellite as part of a weapons test, 97 percent of the debris remains in orbit, posing “distinct hazards to hundreds of operational satellites,” writes NASA in its October issue of Orbital Debris Quarterly News.

The number of pieces of debris from the Fengyun-1C spacecraft surpassed the 3,000 mark last month. The tally as of mid-September was 3,037 objects — roughly 22 percent of all the cataloged objects in low-Earth orbit, reports the Orbital Debris Program Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.