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Latest Debris Stories

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2008-02-21 10:20:00

About 12 million pounds of manmade space junk, such as the dead satellite the U.S. government shot down last night, re-entered the Earth's atmosphere over the past 40 years, according to the Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies.  However, no one has ever been reported hurt by it. The reason is simple, and mainly a matter of probability; 70 percent of the Earth's surface is water.  And greater than 99.9 percent of the land is not occupied by a person at a...

2007-04-20 12:00:15

By MARTYN McLAUGHLIN and GRAEME MUTCH RECORD levels of sanitary products - more than three times the UK average - have been found on Scotland's beaches. The humble cotton bud stick was the number one pollutant, with people all too eager to flush them through the sewerage system. In contrast to the overall UK picture, where most litter could be attributed to beach visitors discarding rubbish, sewage-related debris represented the majority of litter found on Scotland's shores. In the...

0f9d5176fa4adccf59dd7eafaf75da1a1
2006-01-19 19:55:00

WASHINGTON -- More than 9,000 pieces of space debris are orbiting the Earth, a hazard that can only be expected to get worse in the next few years. And currently there's no workable and economic way to clean up the mess. The pieces of space junk measuring 4 inches or more total some 5,500 tons, according to a report by NASA scientists J.-C. Liou and N. L. Johnson in Friday's issue of the journal Science. Even if space launches were halted now - which will not happen - the collection of...

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2005-03-21 11:35:00

ESA -- Assessing the risk that space debris pose to operational spacecraft and satellites is a challenge and depends on whether you are worried about being hit by a known, tracked debris object or by an unknown object. At least the known objects are, well, known. These include old spacecraft, other satellites, rocket bodies and large fragments from past break-ups. "It's now standard practice that near-Earth satellites carry an allowance of fuel simply for taking evasive manoeuvres...

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2005-02-12 09:22:17

HONOLULU (AP) -- A bipartisan group of U.S. senators from coastal states introduced legislation Thursday calling for removal of the thousands of tons of ocean debris that wash up on U.S. shores each year. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, and Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, said the bill is intended to protect marine ecosystems and human health from ocean-borne trash, including discarded fishing gear, equipment abandoned by commercial fleets and cargo that has washed overboard. The measure would...

2c68395315c642371f43073ea0d2ed1b1
2004-12-05 10:05:00

ESA -- At closing speeds reaching 50 thousand km per hour, even the smallest bits of space debris can cause serious harm to spacecraft; larger ones cause catastrophe. Near-Earth missions, like the International Space Station, now carry ever-more sophisticated shielding. Not only is space debris a hot topic, it is also a fascinating "” and growing "” field of space science. Professor Walter Flury, the European Space Agency's resident expert on space debris, casually uses rather...


Word of the Day
call-note
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'
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