Debris might give space station a close shave
The International Space Station, seen over the Caspian Sea.
November 22nd, 2011
05:02 PM ET

Debris might give space station a close shave

NASA officials plan to make an early morning call on whether to shelter the crew of the International Space Station when a 4-inch diameter piece of debris from a Chinese weather satellite passes by Wednesday.

The piece of the Fengyun 1C, which was destroyed in 2007 by a Chinese missile test, is expected to pass by at 4:43 a.m. ET, mission control at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston said.

"It's approaching the station at 5 kilometers per second," NASA spokesman Kelly Humphries told CNN.

The initial projections were for the Fengyun 1C remnant to miss by around 2,800 feet, but Humphries said "Our last update was looking better."

NASA will make the final call at 4 a.m. ET on whether to move the three-member crew in the space station into the Soyuz vehicle attached to it.

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Filed under: In Space
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. barry

    I saw on the science channel that a large laser was supposed to be built to take care of the trash in orbit. It would be on earth and zap the trash. Yet just llike searching for asteroids that may hit earth, no one wants to pay for it.

    November 26, 2011 at 10:47 pm |


    November 26, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  3. Eaker

    The Chinese blew up the satellite on purpose and don't give a damn about the fallout. The Chinese are NOT America's friends!

    November 23, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
    • Johan S

      If they did it on purpose they could have launched a few tons of tungsten carbide ball bearings instead.

      November 27, 2011 at 1:51 am |
  4. ctla567

    Whereever we go, thrash follows. All the way from Mount Everest to space to the bottom of the sea.

    November 22, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
  5. James Urquhart

    False alarm !!

    Last time I checked, 2800 feet was a little over half a mile, so I would position the gigantic baseball glove about 910 yards from the ISS...

    November 22, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
  6. helenecha

    Hah ... the three-member crew may need to reply NASA, "We don't want to hide into the capsule any longer, send ISS an umbrella as quickly as possible."

    November 22, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
  7. Dreamer96

    NASA needs to build a really big baseball catchers mit to catch any space debris that gets too close..with little booster rockets on all four a jetson toy. only really big...

    The space wheel in 2001 was a lot more impressive...this space station looks like a bunch of soda cans in space...Hey maybe Coke or Pepsi would pay big bucks to NASA to wrap the space station with their labels....Or Budwiser, or Miller....And NASA can sell the rights for the solar arrays too, they look kinda like Twixs candy bars wait sugar wafer cookies....with creme fillings

    November 22, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
    • sharoom

      That 4-inch piece of debris will demolish your really big baseball catchers mitt at 5 km/sec man.

      November 22, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
      • dreamer96

        How fast the debris is going relative to the glove, this can be changed with the booster rockets...that is why the giant glove has them, to move around in space..get in front speed up and match some of the speed of the relatively the speeds are similar...51 kilometers per second is the approach speed....that sounds really fast but, the effect of gravity in space at that orbit make it possible to suddenly speed up quickly only inertial mass has to be overcome...and though the glove is big, it does not have to have a large mass to catch objects....

        November 23, 2011 at 12:02 am |
  8. spade

    Something should be done abiut all of the debris not that I know what but sooner or later something bad is going to happen

    November 22, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Dreamer96

      Glad bags in space...coming soon...collect the trash and drop it in the ocean...hopefully it burns up on the way down...

      November 22, 2011 at 8:04 pm |


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