Thursday, June 30, 2011

NASA, NASA News, Space Debris Misses ISS, Green Programs Need to Extend to Space

Emergency procedures enacted as space debris passes 1,100 feet from Space Station 

There is no doubt that the largest creators of space junk are the Americans with NASA, the Russians and now the Europeans. Each venture into space produces some debris, this is all part of the early stages of space exploration but it is something that we really need to stay on top of. In recent years with the rush to go green many of the corporate programs that have been enacted allow companies to deposit emissions and junk into space without having any idea what the long lasting effects will be. Something the size of a small coin could have a devastating affect on the International Space Station. As we rightfully move forward with programs that are good for earth's environment we should be equally cognizant of what effects our green programs have on space. This is already a problem but in the coming years and decades the magnitude of the problems could jeopardize our space program and be so costly to fix that it could greatly slow down our space exploration efforts. A long term view is a much healthier outlook then a short term view of just planet earth! 

Tuesday's space debris incident at the International Space Station was the "closest anything has come to the space station," NASA said Wednesday.

Final calculations showed the unknown object passed the space station 1,100 feet away and its source remains a mystery, according to Kelly Humphries, a spokesman at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

When the unexpected space debris came flying close to the space station Tuesday, it prompted the station's six astronauts to take shelter inside two Soyuz capsules, NASA said.

NASA does not expect any other close calls with this particular debris, said Humphries.

Russia's Interfax news agency said preliminary data on "the dangerous approach" shows that the "trash" came within about 250 meters (820 feet) of the station.

Officials at NASA are investigating what the debris was, NASA spokesman Joshua Buck said.

By the time it was spotted, it was "too late to make an avoidance maneuver," so NASA ordered the six crew members to "shelter in place," Buck said. About 7:30 a.m. ET, the crew members climbed into the two Soyuz capsules positioned at the station.

NASA determined that the debris would come closest to the station at 8:08 a.m. ET.

Three minutes later, at 8:11 a.m. ET, the all-clear was sounded and astronauts were allowed to exit the capsules, Buck said.

Buck described the debris as an "unknown object of unknown size."
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