Feeds

Astronauts chuck fridge off space station

Fatal fridge-frag meteor space dump shocker

High performance access to file storage

Litterbug astronauts have hurled almost a ton of junk off the International Space Station, including an old refrigeration system weighing 1400lb, risking a fiery meteoric death for innocent Earth-dwellers. In sharp contrast to green consumers worldwide, NASA has brazenly revealed that the fly tipping spacemen hadn't even used the fridge before throwing it overboard. Outrage is expected from the sandal-wearing, lentil-friendly elements of society.

In fact, the orgy of ecologically-unsound orbital refuse disposal was due to the problems which have beset the space shuttle fleet in recent years. With a sharply reduced number of shuttle flights to the station, opportunities to ship rubbish back to Earth have been limited.

The disused space fridge jettisoned yesterday - in reality an ammonia tank assembly called the Early Ammonia System, or EAS - was a coolant backup provided only for use in emergencies during the building of the space station. Now that the platform's main cooling system is in place, the EAS was scheduled to be removed so that the truss it was mounted on could be shifted to its final planned position.

NASA had planned to bring the EAS down in the shuttle, but there wasn't room. Accordingly, astronaut Clay Anderson threw it away from the tip of the station's manipulator arm yesterday. He also ditched a 212lb camera mounting, similarly surplus to requirements.

Both pieces of space jetsam will be tracked from Earth, allowing warnings to be given should their re-entry threaten anyone. The camera mount is expected to burn up completely, but pieces of the EAS as large as 39lb might make it down to strike the surface when it de-orbits in a year or so's time. NASA thinks the meteoric fridge-frag volley will land in the ocean, but says there is a 1 in 5000 chance that people could be injured or killed.

Full details from NASA, including video of the astronaut dump incident, can be seen here

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.