Every piece of debris has an orbit that passes through the original point of intercept. Thus it all falls to earth pretty immediately, for a low intercept point.
It stays up a long time, for a high intercept point.
Elementary physics is too hard for the NYT.
by Gail Collins
The only known instance of somebody shooting down a satellite occurred last year when the Chinese brought down one of their old weather satellites, also citing vague threats to humanity. At the time, the United States was extremely peeved and complained the Chinese were creating space debris.
``I must give him his due. He has considerably cretinized me.'' Lautréamont
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