SpaceX is pushing the federal government to write strict regulations for managing space trash to keep the environment clean for future launches.

Millions of pieces of space junk—like paint flecks, defunct satellites, and spent rocket boosters—orbit the Earth at tens of thousands of miles per hour, according to NASA. SpaceX, formally Space Exploration Technologies Corp., wants to ensure that debris, especially obsolete satellites, doesn’t interfere with its rocket launches or other space operations.

“Maintaining a clean orbital environment is fundamental for each of these essential aspects of SpaceX’s business,” the company wrote in a May 6 comment the...