backtop


Print 38 comment(s) - last by JediJeb.. on Nov 11 at 5:04 PM


The International Space Station   (Source: NASA)
Astronauts aboard the ISS were forced to sleep in Russian Soyuz escape pods due to a piece of flying debris

A small piece of space debris flew near the International Space Station (ISS) late last week, with ground control flight operators instructing ISS astronauts to hide in escape crafts.

The six-person crew aboard the ISS first learned of the debris early on Friday morning.  Since it proved so difficult to monitor it using satellite and ground-based technology, NASA said the piece of debris likely was extremely small.

Due to the space debris, the crew had to sleep in two Russian Soyuz craft designed to be escape pods -- the actual trajectory of the debris was unknown, causing even more alarm from mission operators.

It turned out, according to space officials, that the debris didn't come close to the ISS after all, but the decision to order the crew into the Soyuz escape craft was still a good idea.  

As the number of floating space junk increases, the possibility of impact with the ISS, satellites or manned missions has increased.  The ISS has been forced to undergo avoidance maneuvers in the past, but this may become an issue that is even more serious in the future.

The United States Air Force announced early last spring it would set aside $500 million in 2010 to help track space junk floating around Earth.  NASA officials also again said the threat of space junk would continue to increase unless space experts came up with methods to stop it.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Relative velocities
By BZDTemp on 11/10/2009 6:51:44 PM , Rating: 5
Nothing we put in space are any heavier than absolutely necessary!

Remember that bringing a payload into orbit is a big job and the actual payload weight vs. rocket/shuttle+rockets means each gram cost big bucks. Living in a space station is sort of living in a glass house - it is fine most of the time but when the kids next door play baseball it get's a little exciting :-)


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

Related Articles













botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki