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Latest Space debris Stories

Actual Location Of Crashed Russian Probe Still Unknown
2012-01-16 15:00:42

Russian officials said on Monday that they still could not say for certain where the Phobos-Grunt space probe landed upon its return to Earth, despite reports over the weekend that it had landed in the Pacific Ocean. According to MSNBC reports Sunday, the satellite's re-entry was believed to have occurred at approximately 12:45 Eastern time, and the debris zone was believed to be 775 miles — or 1,250 kilometers — west of Wellington Island in the South Pacific. That...

Station To Perform Debris Avoidance Maneuver Friday
2012-01-13 06:34:53

International Space Station crew members are set to maneuver the space lab out of the way of an orbiting piece of space debris left over from a 2009 collision of two satellites, after US Space Command informed the station flight control team Wednesday of the potential hazard. On Thursday, ISS ballistics officers confirmed the path of the debris and radioed Flight Director Emily Nelson that the debris has the potential of making impact with the station. As a result, Nelson gave the OK to...

Mars Moon Probe To Return To Earth Next Week
2012-01-02 04:48:21

The Russian probe that was to explore Mars' moon Phobos before becoming stranded in orbit is expected to fall back to Earth sometime next week, various media outlets are reporting. Early last week, European Space Agency (ESA) space debris chief Heiner Klinkrad told Space.com columnist Leonard David that current re-entry forecasts predict that the Phobos-Grunt satellite, which was launched on November 9, could plummet through Earth's atmosphere on January 14 or 15, plus or minus five day....

Origin Of Namibian Space Ball Not So Mysterious
2011-12-23 13:14:25

Namibian authorities have recently announced the discovery of a large metallic ball which they say fell from the sky and landed in the country´s remote northern grasslands in mid-November. After conducting a number of tests on the mysterious sphere, the baffled Namibian government opted to contact NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) this week. Following their initial examinations of the object, the nation´s police deputy inspector general Vilho Hifindaka stated that the...

Nanosail-D Completes Mission
2011-11-30 11:55:53

After spending more than 240 days "sailing" around the Earth, NASA's NanoSail-D -- a nanosatellite that deployed NASA's first-ever solar sail in low-Earth orbit -- has successfully completed its Earth orbiting mission. Launched to space Nov. 19, 2010 as a payload on NASA's FASTSAT, a small satellite, NanoSail-D's sail deployed on Jan. 20. The flight phase of the mission successfully demonstrated a deorbit capability that could potentially be used to bring down decommissioned satellites...

UPDATE: Space Debris Found To Be No Threat To Station Crew
2011-11-23 05:00:31

Flight Director Brian Smith called off planning to shelter the Expedition 30 crew in their Soyuz spacecraft after flight controllers evaluated tracking data on the Fengyun 1C satellite debris and concluded it poses no threat to the International Space Station. Consideration was given for sheltering the crew in their Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft after initial tracking information indicated a high probability of the debris colliding with the station. But further tracking data confirmed that the...

Orbiting Solar Power Plants 'Technically Feasible' Within 30 Years: Study
2011-11-16 06:34:10

Orbiting solar power plants that harness the sun´s energy from space and beam it to Earth could be economically viable within three decades based on technologies currently being tested, according to a new study by scientists with the International Academy of Astronautics. Reuters first reported on the study on Monday, having obtained a copy of the 248-page report ahead of its release. The study is the first broad based international assessment of potential plans to collect solar...

Cost Of Spacecraft Insurance Likely To Rise
2011-10-28 11:16:47

The London Institute of Space Policy and Law director said recently that the cost of insuring spacecraft in Earth's orbit is likely to rise, according to a report by The Guardian. Legal experts said that the second unscheduled re-entry of a spacecraft into Earth's atmosphere within a month highlights the growing danger of space debris. Professor Sa'id Mosteshar, director of the London Institute of Space Policy and Law, said there is a greater chance of collisions because lower orbits...

DARPA Hopes To Retrieve, Reuse Components From Dead Satellites
2011-10-22 04:43:28

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced a new program that would recycle parts from non-functioning satellites to help save money when constructing replacement satellites, various media outlets reported Friday. According to Andrew Tarantola of Gizmodo, DARPA's Phoenix system "consists of a primary Tender/Servicer satellite and multiple smaller mini-satellites called 'Satlets.' As the plan goes, after the Tender has reached geosynchronous orbit (GEO), the...


Word of the Day
attercop
  • A spider.
  • Figuratively, a peevish, testy, ill-natured person.
'Attercop' comes from the Old English 'atorcoppe,' where 'atter' means 'poison, venom' and‎ 'cop' means 'spider.' 'Coppa' is a derivative of 'cop,' top, summit, round head, or 'copp,' cup, vessel, which refers to 'the supposed venomous properties of spiders,' says the OED. 'Copp' is still found in the word 'cobweb.'
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