Jamie's Blog

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Space junk just misses airliner



A Russian satellite came down in the pacific ocean near New Zealand Tuesday night and narrowly missed an airliner that was flying from Santiago, Chile to Auckland, New Zealand. The Russian space agency had warned New Zealand and surrounding areas that the satellite was coming down, but it wasn't supposed to be coming down quite as soon as it did, or in the location it came down in.
The story here.

Scientists are becoming increasingly worried about the sheer quantity of "junk" that is orbiting the earth. Both because it could come down anywhere, and because it jeopardizes existing and future spacecraft and satellites. NASA currently tracks over 10,000 distinct objects orbiting the earth. Most of which are literally junk. It is estimated that there are anywhere from 600,000 to 1,000,000 man made items currently orbiting the earth that could cause collisions and damage.
Check out the wikipedea article on space debris here
A National Geographic article on space cleanup here

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