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Cosmic Cleanup With a NERF Ball?

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posted on Mar, 19 2008 @ 08:49 AM
Well, that's just one idea.

Space is littered with millions of bits of orbiting garbage leftover from missions. The flying flotsam can delay launches and could potentially smash into spacecraft. Now some creative ideas are emerging for how to sweep up the junk. One idea even involves an oversized NERF ball.

See full article here as well as other ideas.

With possibly ten of millions of pieces of debris in orbit I worry that the safety of our astronauts/cosmonauts is severely compromised. I know that this is nothing new, but my hope is that they will figure something out whether it is a huge NERF ball
or a giant trash space-truck. China's Fengyun-1C added 150,000 new pieces and the US added another 3,000 when they shot the spy satellite recently.

But what I found interesting while searching around is the fate of the Hubble when and if it finally falls...

All this is small stuff compared to something big coming in on its own -- like the Hubble Space Telescope. There's good reason why an eventual "controlled" reentry is being planned for that orbiting eye on the universe. Orbital debris analysts have figured out the risk to humans down below if Hubble should plow through the Earth's atmosphere in an uncontrolled manner.

At least two tons (2,055 kilograms) of the estimated 26,000 pounds (11,792 kilograms) of the observatory would survive the plummet from space. Such a fall would produce a debris track that stretches over 755 miles (1,220 kilometers) in length. The analysis suggests that the risk posed to the human population in the year 2020 is 1:250 -- a risk that exceeds NASA's own safety standard.


Duck and cover!

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