View Full Version : Think space has a lot of space?

02-11-2009, 05:52 PM
Maybe not...

Two satellites collide in orbit

In an unprecedented space collision, a commercial Iridium communications satellite and a defunct Russian satellite ran into each other Tuesday above northern Siberia, creating a cloud of wreckage, officials said today.

The international space station does not appear to be threatened by the debris, they said, but it's not yet clear whether it poses a risk to any other military or civilian satellites.

"They collided at an altitude of 790 kilometers (491 miles) over northern Siberia Tuesday about noon Washington time," said Nicholas Johnson, NASA's chief scientist for orbital debris at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. "The U.S. space surveillance network detected a large number of debris from both objects."


02-12-2009, 09:43 AM
NASA's chief scientist for orbital debris
Is that something like a space sanitation engineer?


Uncle Ben
02-12-2009, 10:04 AM
Is that something like a space sanitation engineer?


Wonder what he gets paid? :rolleyes:

02-12-2009, 10:47 AM
sounds like a job for Mega Maid

02-12-2009, 11:23 AM
Ah, Spaceballs!!! Love that movie.. "she's switching from suck to blow!"

02-12-2009, 01:08 PM
Wonder what he gets paid? :rolleyes:
A helluva lot of money. Space junk is a major problem and tracking it is important. The orbital speeds of things in space is huge. For example the ISS is traveling at about 8 km/s, which is around 17,500 MPH. Something the size of a marble and weighing maybe 30 grams (about 1 ounce) traveling at 8 km/s will have about 960KJ of energy. Think back to that Kansas bridge question, that's a lot of energy. That 960KJ is about 700,000 ft-lbs of energy or roughly the same energy as a pound of TNT. Just a really, really fast marble. There are around 20,000 tracked pieces of that size and larger. Taking out a $500 million or more satellite with a marble, that's bad. It would be worse if something like that takes out a Shuttle or the Space Station with people aboard.

02-12-2009, 01:54 PM
Littering kills.

Mountain Drew
02-12-2009, 10:43 PM
After that crash I think it is pretty safe to say there are a few job opening.... and a few new missing person cases ;)