Space Debris Has Hit And Damaged The International Space Station

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Yuli Ban
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Joined: Sun May 16, 2021 4:44 pm

Space Debris Has Hit And Damaged The International Space Station

Post by Yuli Ban »

Space Debris Has Hit And Damaged The International Space Station
The inevitable has occurred. A piece of space debris too small to be tracked has hit and damaged part of the International Space Station - namely, the Canadarm2 robotic arm.

The instrument is still operational, but the object punctured the thermal blanket and damaged the boom beneath. It's a sobering reminder that the low-Earth orbit's space junk problem is a ticking time bomb.

Obviously space agencies around the world are aware of the space debris problem. Over 23,000 pieces are being tracked in low-Earth orbit to help satellites and the ISS avoid collisions - but they're all about the size of a softball or larger.

Anything below that size is too small to track, but travelling at orbital velocities can still do some significant damage, including punching right through metal plates.
Image
(CSA/NASA)


This has apparently happened before:
Image

But this incident is much worse. Oof.
And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future
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erowind
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Joined: Mon May 17, 2021 5:42 am

Re: Space Debris Has Hit And Damaged The International Space Station

Post by erowind »

Thankfully it hit a minor non-life supporting system. This could have been much worse.
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Yuli Ban
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Joined: Sun May 16, 2021 4:44 pm

Re: Space Debris Has Hit And Damaged The International Space Station

Post by Yuli Ban »

We knew it was going to happen at some future point. It's a sizable hole. Nothing to worry about on its own, but certainly something to give us pause for the future.
Imagine something like this happening every single day. This is why people fear the prospect of a space war or major disaster in low-earth orbit!
And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future
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