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Russian space junk almost destroys NASA telescope

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posted on May, 2 2013 @ 07:41 AM
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So...interesting article on how they almost collided and how the teams were able to maneuver the telescope out of the way with thrusters. What struck me odd about the article was actually a line they state near the end of the article.

www.foxnews.com...



NASA tracks 17,000 objects larger than 4 inches across in orbit above the Earth every day. Only 7 percent of the objects tracked are currently active satellites.


So there are 1190 active satellites. What they don't say is if these are artificial or natural satellites. But that leaves 15810 satellites that I assume they consider in-active? If these are to be considered artificial satellites, have we as a world put 17000 objects into orbit around the earth?

Just seemed odd that there was such a large number of satellites being tracked that are 4 inches or larger...also made me wonder why 4 inches or larger is the size to track.
edit on 5/2/13 by Vasa Croe because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 2 2013 @ 07:47 AM
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Not all of that is an actual payload that got launched to do something. Some of it is a byproduct of the launch, rocket bodies, farings, and tools that may drift away from spacewalks. It's really a mix of literal junk. I've looked into a lot of this and it seems 4" seems to be the radar technologies limit right now. I think that's really crazy they can even track stuff that tiny!

It sucks that all of that stuff is up there though, losing that telescope or something else that's really important to a piece of small debris is a sad day.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 07:58 AM
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There are "almost" collisions among satellites every day. Most organizations that have satellites have a specific distance at which they will move in order to avoid a possible collision. Think of a satellite and put an imaginary bubble around it at a distance of about 1km. (Some are more accurate than others, some less) This is done due to the limits of the telemetry used to track the satellite. Also, put the same bubble around whatever the other object that is coming near. True, they may not hit and you can come out fine but if those "bubbles" touch, it could mean a collision and complete loss of whatever mission the satellite is doing.


As for the "spacejunk", when China blew up their satellite, that created thousands of new objects to track. If someone could create a way to remove all that junk while keeping the working satellites safe, they could make millions.
edit on 2/5/13 by secret titan because: addition



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 08:20 AM
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I always knew there was a lot of stuff out there but I never realized what an issue it is until just now. The image comparing the amount of space junk year by year got me. Why wasn't some sort of a solution been thought of before now. And even now why isn't there a way to reduce all this junk? Is there some sort of netting that we could use that is strong enough to catch all this like fishermen?



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 08:24 AM
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Originally posted by memedoug
I always knew there was a lot of stuff out there but I never realized what an issue it is until just now. The image comparing the amount of space junk year by year got me. Why wasn't some sort of a solution been thought of before now. And even now why isn't there a way to reduce all this junk? Is there some sort of netting that we could use that is strong enough to catch all this like fishermen?


I would think a more appropriate solution would be something like the mounted lasers the Navy is using now. Target the space junk in orbit with an orbiting laser and burn it up. Of course putting a laser of this type in space would cause a lot of international controversy with others thinking it was to shoot down satellites. I would consider that as the most viable option to rid our space of this orbiting junk.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 11:10 AM
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reply to post by secret titan
 


Sounds to me like great "low-hanging fruit" for the asteroid mining ventures that are coming online.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 01:30 PM
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This is odd....another news story on NASA talking about how they track objects today.

www.foxnews.com...




NASA scientists regularly track pieces of space debris larger than 4 inches across in order to avoid potentially destructive collisions. Radar systems track these larger pieces of space junk to alert space station operators and satellite controllers to any threats.

"Collision with these particles can cause serious damage or catastrophic failure to spacecraft or satellites and is a life-threatening risk to astronauts conducting extra-vehicular activities in space," NASA officials from the agency's Johnson Space Center wrote on the White Sands Test Facility website.




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