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"
Spacebook is a nifty tool for the average space-junker. It provides a model of debris around the Earth, and you can sort the debris by status (Backup or Standby, Extended Mission, Nonoperational, Operational, Partially Operational, Spare), orbit (look in the background to see anything outside of low earth orbit), mission (Communications, Early Warning, Navigation, Surveillance, Weather, etc.), owner (country), and by a few other specifications […]Read more "Spacebook: The Everyday Man’s Option for Space Debris Tracking"