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When the Chinese government destroyed one of its weather satellites in a military test last month, it sent a chill through the U.S. military.
And engineers say it had a serious side effect -- it increased the amount of orbiting space junk by about 10 percent.
But what followed was chaos in space. As of today, Kelso reports that American radar is tracking at least 525 pieces of debris from the collision -- each at least the size of a baseball. There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of smaller ones. The pieces are gradually spreading out in a ring around the Earth, creating a vast area where spacecraft face increased danger of being hit. "We've already seen in the range of 500 to 600 events where some piece of debris from this one event was coming within 5 kilometers [about 3 miles] of some payload.
If a shuttle crew ever does find damage, the astronauts would have to seek safe haven on the International Space Station, and wait for a second shuttle to get them. Such an accident, NASA's administator, Michael Griffin, has said, would probably mean the end of the shuttle program.
Originally posted by gs001
I think this is only a show.
[edit on 2-2-2007 by gs001]