I have heard that the earth is surrounded with tiny bits of "space junk".

I was wondering, why not send a large magnet into orbit and collect all the junk?

And by time the magnet is covered with junk it would automatically or naturally come back down to Earth.

I do understand that not all of the junk is magnetic material, and I've wondered why not make the parts that are likely to become larger pieces of debris with some included magnetic material so that they would be easier to attract?

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    – uhoh
    Commented May 19, 2019 at 14:51
  • $\begingroup$ Related: Can objects be deorbited by a satellite using a magnetic field? $\endgroup$ Commented May 19, 2019 at 15:44
  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately it is easy to attract magentic material over some millimeters, difficult over some meters and impossible over some kilometers. But most space debris was not made from magnetic material. $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Commented May 19, 2019 at 20:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Removing space debris using magnets is harder than removing flying bullets from a battlefield using magnets. $\endgroup$
    – Ingolifs
    Commented May 19, 2019 at 22:30