Very expensive "Junk"

stubeeef

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Aug 10, 2004
2,703
2
Thought this had some interesting trivia....(almost 5yrs out of date)

The oldest debris still on orbit is the second US satellite, the Vanguard I, launched on 1958, March, the 17th, which worked only for 6 years.

In 1965, during the first american space walk, the Gemini 4 astronaut Edward White, lost a glove. For a month, the glove stayed on orbit with a speed of 28,000 km / h, becoming the most dangerous garment in history.

More than 200 objects, most of them rubbish bags, were released by the Mir space station during its first 10 years of operation.

The most space debris created by a spacecraft's destruction was due to the upper stage of a Pegasus rocket launched in 1994. Its explosion in 1996 generated a cloud of some 300,000 fragments bigger than 4 mm and 700 among them were big enough to be catalogued. This explosion alone doubled the Hubble Space Telescope collision risk.
Link
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,574
0
I think that the story of the space junk is truly amazing. The US & Russia has been very lucky that no major incidents have occurred. Probably most of it doesn't cause any problems for spacecraft. It would seem that the real danger as mentioned would be for the astronauts doing space walks. That would be a very interesting job trying to track all that space junk.
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,819
41
Andover, MA
In 1965, during the first american space walk, the Gemini 4 astronaut Edward White, lost a glove.
Seems like the sort of thing you'd notice immediately, or at least when your hand swelled to the size of a pumpkin. ;)
 

wwooden

macrumors 68000
Jul 26, 2004
1,996
145
Burlington, VT
The glove reminds me of the random one shoe you will see along the high way. I can never figure that one out, how some looses one shoe. I guess it is even more of mystery how an astronaut looses one glove. was he hanging it out the window to dry?:)
 

MongoTheGeek

macrumors 68040
obeygiant said:
in the future i can see activists lobbying for space clean up.
"we're ruining out future environment!"
Perhaps. The thing is that it all comes back down. There are some very good reasons to clean it up. One of the biggest is that it is more dangerous (in terms of collisions) to leave earth orbit than it is to go through the asteroid belt.
 

rainman::|:|

macrumors 603
Feb 2, 2002
5,442
2
iowa
wwooden said:
The glove reminds me of the random one shoe you will see along the high way. I can never figure that one out, how some looses one shoe. I guess it is even more of mystery how an astronaut looses one glove. was he hanging it out the window to dry?:)
Cecil Adams (world's most know-it-all-iest person) actually wrote about this on straightdope.com, it's a pretty funny article, i'll dig up the link later :)
 

Brother Michael

macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2004
717
0
MongoTheGeek said:
Perhaps. The thing is that it all comes back down. There are some very good reasons to clean it up. One of the biggest is that it is more dangerous (in terms of collisions) to leave earth orbit than it is to go through the asteroid belt.
I would think anything smaller than the state of Texas would burn up too much to cause any significant damage. Afterall don't we get "hit" with astroids everyday?

Mike
 

weg

macrumors 6502a
Mar 29, 2004
888
0
nj
stubeeef said:
Thought this had some interesting trivia....(almost 5yrs out of date)


Link
Nothing compared to the huge number of dead iPods that will be around in a few years ;-)