Space Station Trash Heading To Earth

Caption: NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson, an Exped...A piece of space station trash the size of a refrigerator is poised to plunge through the Earth’s atmosphere late Sunday, more than a year after an astronaut tossed it overboard.

NASA and the U.S. Space Surveillance Network are tracking the object — a 1,400-pound (635-kilogram) tank of toxic ammonia coolant thrown from the international space station — to make sure it does not
endanger people on Earth. Exactly where the tank will inevitably fall
is currently unknown, though it is expected to re-enter Earth’s
atmosphere Sunday afternoon or later that evening, NASA officials said.

“This has got a very low likelihood that anybody will be impacted by it,” said Mike Suffredini, NASA’s space station program manager, in an interview. “But still, it is a large object and pieces will enter and we just need to be cautious.”

NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson threw the ammonia tank from the tip of the space station’s Canadian-built robotic arm during a July 23, 2007, spacewalk. He tossed away an unneeded video camera stand overboard as well, but that 212-pound (96-kilogram) item burned up harmlessly in the atmosphere early this year, Suffredini said.

NASA expects up to 15 pieces of the tank to survive the searing hot temperatures of re-entry, ranging in size from about 1.4 ounces (40 grams) to nearly 40 pounds (17.5 kilograms).

If they reach all the way to land, the largest pieces could slam into the Earth’s surface at about 100 mph (161 kilometers per hour). But a splashdown at sea is also possible, as the planet is two-thirds ocean.

“If anybody found a piece of anything on the ground Monday morning, I would hope they wouldn’t get too close to it,” Suffredini said. [via]

Space Station Trash Heading To Earth 2
James Hickshttp://about.me/jameshicks
James is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of HicksNewMedia, a Digital Publishing and Technology Consulting team providing effective and relevant solutions to individuals and businesses looking to more effective utilize the social interweb. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

More from author

Leave a Reply!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related posts

Advertisment

Categories

Latest posts

Improvement Tips for Your Self-Care Routine

What is self-care, really? It’s a term that’s been thrown around a lot in recent years, but maybe you’re not entirely sure...

Imported cars: a fun novelty, or more hassle than they’re worth?

The fact that you’re reading this indicates that you’ve probably at least considered importing a vehicle before – and in many ways,...

Top Tips Every Business Owner Needs For Staying On Top Of Trends

What does the future mean to you? As entrepreneurs and business owners, the future should not be a complete unknown. It...

Want to stay up to date with the latest news?

We would love to hear from you! Please fill in your details and we will stay in touch. It's that simple!