TORTURE NEVER STOPS... (Thank you, Frank Zappa !)

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Cosmic Debris...remember Zappa's song?

Happy Birthdays future generations! Don't even mention. You are welcome!


Space crash debris to orbit Earth for 10,000 years

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By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV, Associated Press Writer Vladimir Isachenkov, Associated Press Writer

MOSCOW – Debris from this week's satellite collision could circle Earth for up to 10,000 years, threatening many other satellites in an already-crowded area, Russia's Mission Control chief said Friday.

Vladimir Solovyov said Tuesday's smashup of a derelict Russian military satellite and a working U.S. Iridium commercial satellite occurred some 500 miles (800 kilometers) above Earth — the busiest part of near-Earth space.

"800 kilometers is a very popular orbit which is used by Earth-tracking and communications satellites," Solovyov told reporters. "The clouds of debris pose a serious danger to them."

Solovyov told reporters even tiny fragments could pose a serious threat to spacecraft made of light alloys because both travel at such a high speed.

Most fragments are concentrated near the collision course, but Maj.-Gen. Alexander Yakushin, chief of staff of the Russian military's Space Forces, said some debris was thrown into other orbits, ranging from 300 to 800 miles (500-1,300 kilometers) above Earth.

The U.S. military already tracks 18,000 objects in orbit, but no one has any idea yet exactly how many extra pieces of space junk were generated by the collision or how big they might be. Space experts say the collision created hundreds of fragments, maybe thousands, if tiny pieces are included.

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