Thursday, August 5, 2021
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

ISS narrowly avoids space junk collision


Posted on Saturday, 8 November, 2014 | Comment icon 5 comments

The International Space Station could be severely damaged by a debris collision. Image Credit: NASA
The space station performed an emergency maneuver last month to avoid a piece of orbiting debris.
The dangers posed by the increasingly large amounts of space junk in orbit around the Earth were brought back in to focus recently when the International Space Station was forced to fire its thrusters to move out of the way of an object that was large enough to have caused potentially catastrophic damage.

The hand-sized debris fragment is believed to have been a piece of the Russian Cosmos-2251 satellite which collided with a U.S. Iridium satellite back in 2009.
There are now believed to be more than 19,000 pieces of space junk larger than 5cm and 300,000 pieces smaller than 1cm in orbit around the Earth. Everything from spent rocket stages to flecks of paint from old space missions inevitably ends up circling the planet.

Space agencies attempt to track as many of the objects as possible however it can often be difficult to determine whether a collision will occur until only a few hours beforehand.

In this case the space station was lucky and managed to maneuver out of the way, but with more debris ending up in orbit on a regular basis it may only be a matter of time before disaster strikes.

Source: Smithsonian Magazine | Comments (5)


Tags: ISS, Space Junk


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Sundew on 8 November, 2014, 21:20
I read somewhere recently that scientists are developing a "tractor beam" technology using LASERs that can push and pull objects. I'm sure it's only in the infancy stages of development, but perhaps in the not-to-distant future small pieces of space junk could be pushed into the atmosphere to burn up. Even a small bit of debris moving at thousands of miles per hour can cause serious damage to our spacecrafts, so anything that could be removed from orbit would be a good thing.
Comment icon #2 Posted by bison on 8 November, 2014, 22:16
The tractor beam recently discussed used a hollow laser beam to heat a small spot on an object. Air particles struck that spot and expanded away from it, pushing the object in the opposite direction. There are probably too few air molecules in even low earth orbit for this to work in space. If they wanted to heat an object enough to volatilize its own material on one side, this might create an expansive, rocket-like effect. This would require a very high power laser, especially at any substantial distance from the object. It would probably be easiest to do this with a comet, since they contain... [More]
Comment icon #3 Posted by Karasu on 9 November, 2014, 8:06
I read somewhere recently that scientists are developing a "tractor beam" technology using LASERs that can push and pull objects. I'm sure it's only in the infancy stages of development, but perhaps in the not-to-distant future small pieces of space junk could be pushed into the atmosphere to burn up. Even a small bit of debris moving at thousands of miles per hour can cause serious damage to our spacecrafts, so anything that could be removed from orbit would be a good thing. My faith in humanity is sadly, lacking. I fear that once this exits prototype phase, and into production phase, it will... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by highdesert50 on 9 November, 2014, 11:48
When one considers it costs in the area of $20K to put a Kg in orbit, one would think there could be commercial value in "harvesting" this junk already in some orbit. For example, and with consideration to ESA's idea of using robotic 3d type printers to create a moon-base, why not capture and grind the debris combining it with a printer medium to create zero gravity manufacturing opportunities.
Comment icon #5 Posted by maximusnow on 12 November, 2014, 15:22
Time for some sheilds


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Weird, limbless amphibians found in the US
8-5-2021
Scientists have discovered an ancient species of worm-like amphibian in Florida for the first time.
Avi Loeb on finding evidence of alien life
8-5-2021
Astrophysicist Avi Loeb has long advocated in favor of scientific investigation into the UFO phenomenon.
New study links dopamine to consciousness
8-4-2021
New research has revealed how the 'pleasure chemical' dopamine plays a key role in human consciousness.
Machu Picchu could be older than thought
8-4-2021
The world-famous Incan citadel, which sits high atop the Andes in Peru, is now thought to be decades older.
Stories & Experiences
Mystery 'troll' captured on camera
4-24-2021 | Marsta, Sweden
 
My Grandfather's NDE
4-24-2021 | Oakland, California
 
The voice of something not human
11-17-2020 | Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles
 
Shadow figure demon ?
11-14-2020 | USA
 
Ghost following me
9-18-2020 | Iowa
 
Mysterious glowing cube
8-23-2020 | Alabama
 
Black blob in my room/bed
7-23-2020 | Powell,TN U.S.
 
Transparent levitating ball
7-14-2020 | Santa Rosa, California
 
 
 

         More stories | Send us your story
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
NASA studies underwater 'white smoker' vents
Posted 4-17-2020 | 3 comments
Hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor can teach us about possible habitats on other worlds.
 
10 strange things about our solar system
Posted 3-17-2020 | 0 comments
A look at some of the most mysterious things about our solar system.
 
Lizzie - Scotland's other loch monster
Posted 3-8-2020 | 0 comments
Amelia Dimoldenberg investigates the Loch Ness Monster's neighbor.
 
 View: More videos
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 Unexplained-Mysteries.com (c) 2001-2021
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ