Feeds

ISS crew flees flying space junk

Astros huddle in Russian-built 'lifeboat'

Top three mobile application threats

International Space Station crew members were forced to flee to the outpost's escape capsule briefly on Thursday when a rogue piece of space junk came too close for comfort.

The debris, a discarded mechanism used in boosting a satellite into higher orbit, missed the ISS without incident. The three astronauts took shelter for 11 minutes inside an attached Russian Soyuz module, which serves as the station's lifeboat if needed.

NASA usually steers the ISS clear of space junk, but this time the warning came too late for evasive maneuvers. The debris was classified on Wednesday as posing a low threat of collision with the space station. But refined numbers late Thursday morning placed the object as passing within 2.8 miles of the space station.

The 5-inch chunk of metal is estimated to have passed by the station at nearly 5.5 miles per second (20,000mph).

Crew members were instructed to put the station into unmanned mode and evacuate into the Soyuz capsule at 12:34pm EST. The space debris passed by without collision at 12:39pm.

The station has had to dodge space junk eight times in the eight years the station has been in operation. Crew members have sheltered from debris in a Soyaz as many as five times in the past, NASA said.

The agency said the incident is unrelated to the defunct Russian military satellite colliding with an Iridium telecom satellite in February — although that's certainly going to add to the approximate 17,000 known pieces of orbiting debris larger than 10cm that the ISS will need to dodge in the future. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
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.