Feeds

ISS crew flees flying space junk

Astros huddle in Russian-built 'lifeboat'

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

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. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.