India’s space agency (ISRO) launched a missile at their own satellite, Microstat-R, in an orbit below 300km in an anti-satellite test. NASA’s Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the U.S. had identified 400 pieces of debris from the test and that 24 pieces of debris are known to have landed in orbits above the ISS, which orbits […]Read more "NASA: Indian Anti-Missile Test Increased Orbital Debris and Threat to ISS, Set Dangerous Precedent"
Our sister site, StellarGenesis.com has launched! Head over there and check out what the team has been working on: Project DataFromDust, which seeks to build a scientific instrument to be included in an upcoming NASA lunar mission. Stellar Genesis is a collaborative space technology development organization founded in the idea that everyone has something to […]Read more "Stellar Genesis is off the ground!"
Firstly, if you’re still unsure of why we need to do anything about a bunch of junk way out in space, check out this useful video by the ESA explaining the critical nature of space junk: Now, that video is about a year out of date, and since then awareness of the problem has arisen […]Read more "European countries are actively working on clearing space debris."
Today, NASA announced the discovery of the first near-Earth-size planet found in the habitable zone of a star similar to our sun (a G2-type star). Named for the mission which discovered it, Kepler-452b is 60% larger in diameter than the Earth; bigger, but still likely to be a rocky planet. It has a 385-day orbit […]Read more "Kepler Mission Discovers Earth-like Planet in the Habitable Zone of a Star Similar to Our Own"
One might assume that the largest space debris would be the most dangerous. While high budget films and fantastical scenarios may lead one to this conclusion, it is actually the smaller space debris which can do the most damage. For large debris, the International Space Station and other satellites can take evasive maneuvers and avoid impact. […]Read more "Big Things Come in Small Packages: JEM-EUSO Innovation Could Protect ISS From Small Debris"
In another testament to the need for space cleanup, last Thursday astronauts aboard the International Space Station were in danger of being blown to bits by space junk. For reasons I’m still investigating, NASA was unable to spot an old Russian satellite headed for the ISS until about an hour and a half before it was […]Read more "Astronauts Aboard ISS Hunker Down in Soyuz As Orbital Debris Passes Close By"
Texas A&M is conducting research into the idea of a using a slingshot technique to throw space junk into a decay orbit. The slingshot satellite, or Sling-Sat as they’ve named it, would intercept a piece of space debris, “catch” it, and then “throw” it back towards the Earth and into a decay orbit. The Sling-Sat […]Read more "The Slingshot: More Than Just A Childhood Toy, It May Help Clean Up Space"