ISS Avoids More Space Junk - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Government // Enterprise Architecture
News
3/23/2009
12:59 PM
50%
50%

ISS Avoids More Space Junk

Shuttle pilot takes evasive action to avoid hurtling debris.

Astronauts Joseph Acaba and Richard Arnold began their third spacewalk Monday morning, a day after moving the Discovery shuttle to avoid a collision with space junk.

NASA said the astronauts moved Discovery in front of the International Space Station, placing it in an "undock" position, Sunday afternoon to create drag to slow their speeds and put them in a slightly lower orbit to avoid debris that posed a potential threat. The space junk was orbiting erratically and appeared to be about 4 inches in diameter, NASA said. It's believed to be part of a spent Chinese satellite.

Mission control in Houston warned the astronauts of the debris before 3 p.m., marking the second time in less than two weeks that astronauts had to take action to reduce the risks of space junk colliding with the space station. Eleven days ago, the crew hunkered down in the Russian Soyuz capsule as a precaution against another piece of debris that passed by without incident.

The debris that NASA spotted Sunday was expected to pass the space station repeatedly if NASA hadn't decided to change the station's position.

"Had we not taken this action, the first time of closest approach would have been about two hours into Monday's spacewalk," NASA said in a news announcement.

Early in the evening, NASA returned the Discovery back to its original position, behind the space station. After the maneuvers, Acaba and Arnold spoke with reporters, reviewed Monday's procedures, and "camped out" in the Quest Airlock module.

Monday morning, they began the mission's third spacewalk, which is expected to last more than six hours. The astronauts switched their spacesuits to internal battery power and exited the hatch for their second spacewalk, so they can perform maintenance and repairs. They will attempt to deploy an unpressurized cargo carrier attachment system, install a similar attachment on the right side of the station, lubricate moving parts, and reconfigure cables.


InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis of green IT strategies. Download the report here (registration required).

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
10 Ways to Transition Traditional IT Talent to Cloud Talent
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  11/23/2020
News
What Comes Next for the COVID-19 Computing Consortium
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/24/2020
News
Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/13/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Why Chatbots Are So Popular Right Now
In this IT Trend Report, you will learn more about why chatbots are gaining traction within businesses, particularly while a pandemic is impacting the world.
Slideshows
Flash Poll