Space garbage


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WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US shuttle Atlantis faces nearly twice the
risk of being struck by debris on a mission next month to the Hubble
telescope, due to the high levels of space litter floating at the
altitude of Hubble's orbit, NASA said Monday.
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"It's a very challenging mission. We have hazards we don't typically
have for an ISS (International Space Station) mission," NASA space
shuttle program manager John Shannon told a news conference.
"We have a one-in-180 chance of getting some type of catastrophic
damage from micro-meteorites/orbiting debris (MMOD) compared to an ISS
mission, which is typically a one-in-300 chance," he said.
Hubble is orbiting some 563 kilometers (350 miles) above earth,
compared with 354 kilometers (220 miles) for the ISS.
When the risk faced by a shuttle mission is greater than one-in-200,
the decision to go ahead with the flight has to come from the highest
authorities in NASA, said Shannon.
But he expected they would give the green light for the Atlantis
mission to lift off on what will be its final mission to conduct
maintenance work on Hubble.
"Our risk has increased, but our ability to mitigate the risk has
increased. So it makes us feel pretty good about it," said Shannon.
"MMOD is the biggest risk for all shuttle flights" and the risk grows
the higher above the earth's surface the shuttle flies, he said.
Space has become more littered and dangerous in the past year due to
mishaps, tests and aborted missions involving American, Chinese and
Russian satellites and rockets, he said.
NASA developed new methods to inspect and repair damage to the space
shuttle after heat tiles on the Columbia shuttle were damaged on
lift-off in 2003, causing the vehicle to disintegrate as it re-entered
the earth's atmosphere, killing everyone on board.
The US space agency has plans to replace the aging shuttle fleet with
a new space vehicle Orion, set to launch in 2014.
The new spacecraft will pick up where the shuttle leaves off,
re-supplying the International Space Station, as well as undertaking
other space missions, including moon landings.
Reply to
Ignoramus15131
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I suppose you are going to figure out how to haul space junk home.
Reply to
Stupendous Man
Has anyone seen hard information on the design of Orion? They certainly must be well past the concept phase.
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
Looks like a slightly enlarged Apollo. 16 ft verses 11 diameter.
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Reply to
cavelamb himself
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Oh, not *that* Orion!
Reply to
David R Brooks
...
I just spent an hour going through all this web site. NASA has definitely decided to go back to basics. The shuttle had been likened to launching a semi truck - lots of extra weight there. This "upgraded Apollo" concept means much less weight to lift. I didn't see the buzzword "reusable" anywhere. I wonder if they plan on just one launch per vehicle.
Karl
Reply to
Karl Townsend
A fantastic idea.
Reply to
Ignoramus24166
It's the old ALS.
Reply to
John R. Carroll
On Wed, 10 Sep 2008 07:15:32 -0500, with neither quill nor qualm, Ignoramus24166 quickly quoth:
The man or company who can do that stands to make lots and lots of money and get planetwide fame. They'd probably be paid by all of the space agencies for cleaning it up, and they can salvage megatons of high-technology equipment and metals, possibly selling them back to their owners for reuse at a pretty penny.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
Looks like learning may have happened.
Spacecraft ain't airplanes.
Looking as the economics of refurbishing the shuttle, and the consequences of not quite getting it right, it may be that a one-time use is actually cheaper that a "reusable".
I wonder if I'll live to see a manned mission to Mars?
Or for that matter, a return to the moon?
Reply to
cavelamb himself
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H.
Reply to
Howard Eisenhauer
They are testing engines, parachutes and the whole nine yards.
Use Google and look at pictures or web sites. Tons of data.
It looks more like a high speed dart than a glider.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Endowed; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member.
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Karl Townsend wrote:
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Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
That is the Orion spacecraft. As you say. A cargo tugboat. Orion CEV & LSAM Aries missile launcher. The CEV is for the moon landings.
Then the elegant Orion space Clipper - that is a beauty -
Then there is the Orion III SpacePlane.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Endowed; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member.
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cavelamb himself wrote:
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Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn

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