Feeds

ISS spared space junk avoidance manoeuvre

All well pending Discovery's arrival

Seven Steps to Software Security

Crew aboard the International Space Station were yesterday told they would not have to perform a "debris avoidance maneuver"* after NASA deemed a 10-centimetre piece of the destroyed Russian Cosmos 1275 satellite posed no threat to the orbiting outpost.

Mike Fincke, Yury Lonchakov and Sandy Magnus last week took refuge for 11 minutes in the station's "lifeboat" Soyuz capsule when a "discarded mechanism used in boosting a satellite into higher orbit" whizzed past at "nearly 5.5 miles per second (20,000mph)".

The latest close-ish encounter with space junk is the result of the collision back in February between the Cosmos and an Iridium telecoms satellite. According to Gene Stansbery, NASA's orbital debris programme manager, pieces of wreckage from the pile-up have "progressively lost altitude due to the drag of Earth's atmosphere, so that they now come within the space station's altitude".

Discovery's robotic arm deployed. Pic NASAOn Discovery, meanwhile, the crew's first full day in space "focused on an up close inspection of its wing leading edge panels using the robotic arm and Orbiter Boom Sensor System extension" (see pic). The STS-119 mission team is preparing to dock with the ISS later today with its cargo of the final solar panel arrays for the station.

NASA's STS-119 overview is here, there's more detailed info on the mission here (pdf), while ISS updates are available here. ®

Bootnote

*This involves using the docked Soyuz's engines to lower the ISS's altitude. According to New Scientist, this has occured eight times in the past, the last time in August 2008 "when the station lowered its altitude to avoid a piece of debris that was set to pass some 1.6 km away from it".

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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
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
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
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.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.