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Duck and Cover, International Space Station style

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Starman, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member


    As that thing gets bigger and bigger -- in a half-decent pair of binoculars, you can kinda make out its shape -- the chance it's eventually gonna get drilled by a piece of space junk rises pretty much proportionately. Hopefully if (more likely when) it happens, it won't happen in an immediate section where people are. :eek:

    The story is somewhat badly written in that it implies the piece of metal was traveling at a speed of 20,000 mph in relation to the ISS -- because of orbital mechanics that's extremely unlikely, more likely the relative speed is only about 2,000 mph. But in any case, if you get hit with a 5-inch piece of metal going 2,000 mph, you in a heap of trouble.
  2. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    Would it even matter if space junk hit an unoccupied spot? I've always understood something like that to cause an almost immediate vacuum of everything inside -- like a deep sea vessel rupturing, but in reverse.
  3. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    The audio tape of the Astronaut when she's told she can exit the Soyuz is hillarious...one word, "Great," at the highest octive I have ever heard.
  4. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    I love that the object was our own damn space motor. What, do we have GPS on all those fucking things that we drop all over space?
  5. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Not all parts of the ISS are habitable pressurized areas.

    If junk clips one of the solar panels, for instance, it would be a problem (ranging from minor to disastrous), but not instant catastrophic depressurization.
  6. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    On the other hand, if the piece of junk is in a retrograde orbit, it could hit at a combined 40,000 mph.

    Energy equals mass times the square of the velocity.
  7. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    Sort of. I actually got to go inside the site at Diego Garcia. Way cool.

  8. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    As big as that fucker is I'd be more concerned about what happens if its orbit disintegrates after a collision and it drops out of the sky.
  9. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    True, but there are very, very, very few satellites (or associated debris) in retrograde orbits -- satellites are almost always launched in posigrade orbits (i.e. toward the east) to gain the velocity assist (about 1,000 mph) from the rotational velocity of the earth. In any case, if you get hit with a 5-inch piece of metal going 2,000, 20,000 or 40,000 mph, you're hurting.

    It's gonna be quite a problem some day, when they finally decide to mothball it, how to bring it down somewhere in the Pacific. It'll be quite a fireworks show, but you don't want to be underneath it.
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