Feeds

Astronauts chuck fridge off space station

Fatal fridge-frag meteor space dump shocker

Security for virtualized datacentres

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

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
'Utter killjoy Reg hacks have NEVER BEEN LAID', writes a fan
'Shuddit, smarty pants!' Some readers reacted badly to our last Doctor Who review ...
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?
How artificial lighting could offer an artificial promise
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.