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Spacejunk in Earth's atmosphere revealed
The Telegraph ^ | 4/15/2008 | Paul Eccleston

Posted on 04/15/2008 5:25:20 PM PDT by bruinbirdman

It's more than 50 years since Russia signalled the start of the space race with the launch of Sputnik One.

For more than two decades from 1957 the Soviet Union and the USA competed in a battle to be the first to the stars.

The race ended in 1969 when the US delivered the coup de grace by landing Neil Armstrong safely on the Moon.

Now space flights are commonplace and Sir Richard Branson will soon be taking the first tourists on sub-orbital flights on his craft SpaceShipTwo.

In 1964 the first TV satellite was launched into a geostationary orbit in order to transmit the Olympic games from Tokyo.

Since then hundreds of communication satellites have been launched and Earth's atmosphere still bears the scars.

A European Space Agency (ESA) computer-generated picture shows a view from space with the planet surrounded by a snowstorm of space debris.


Computer-generated image of trackable objects currently in orbit around the Earth

Much of it is junk with telecommunications equipment that once cost millions now past its sell-by date yet still in orbit.

ESA says the number of objects in Earth's atmosphere has risen steadily increasing by 200 per year on average and that there are now 600 working satellites.

Collisions, explosions and lost or discarded material from space flights and rockets has resulted in the atmosphere resembling a junk yard with potentially millions of pieces of metal travelling in permanent orbit 20,000 miles above the Earth.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: debris; space; spacejunk

1 posted on 04/15/2008 5:25:20 PM PDT by bruinbirdman
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To: bruinbirdman

Whoever dies with the most junk in space wins? ;)


2 posted on 04/15/2008 5:26:47 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: bruinbirdman
Just think. One of those has the remains of the poor cosmonaut that the Russians left up there when they couldn't get him back.

(Though there are those who claim this is "urban legend"...)

3 posted on 04/15/2008 5:28:28 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: bruinbirdman

Bump to orbit later!


4 posted on 04/15/2008 5:31:33 PM PDT by Bender2 ("I've got a twisted sense of humor, and everything amuses me." RAH Beyond this Horizon)
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To: bruinbirdman
Collisions, explosions and lost or discarded material from space flights and rockets has resulted in the atmosphere resembling a junk yard with potentially millions of pieces of metal travelling in permanent orbit 20,000 miles above the Earth.

Um, the atmosphere doesent extend to 20,000 miles. Even LEO is outside the atmosphere.
5 posted on 04/15/2008 5:39:34 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: bruinbirdman

Hopefully we have enough ‘junk’ in orbit, so that if an ASTEROID heads our way, it will bounce off the junk, and careen off into space .


6 posted on 04/15/2008 5:52:45 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Just saying what 'they' won't.)
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To: bruinbirdman
Wow! Looks like some of those satelelites are about a thousand miles wide. ;)


7 posted on 04/15/2008 6:03:24 PM PDT by iowamark
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To: BenLurkin

“One of those has the remains of the poor cosmonaut that the Russians left up there when they couldn’t get him back.”

It wouldn’t surprise me if this was true. Any links?


8 posted on 04/15/2008 6:08:52 PM PDT by EEDUDE
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To: bruinbirdman
I think it would be more revealing if the satellites were shown to scale.
9 posted on 04/15/2008 6:14:50 PM PDT by Boiler Plate ("Why be difficult, when with just a little more work, you can be impossible" Mom)
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To: bruinbirdman

the objects at 20,000 miles that this article is referring too are objects in geosynchronous orbit. my sensors mission is to track said objects. geosync is populated mostly by telecomm birds because the time it takes an object to complete and orbit is the same amount of time it takes the earth to complete an orbit. it keeps the objects over the same spot throughout its orbit. that makes sure that when we are watching the superbowl it doesnt cut out every 10 minutes.


10 posted on 04/15/2008 6:17:56 PM PDT by Clarinet_King (Det 4 21st Operations Group - Siempre Vigilantes Del Cielo - Detect, Track, Deter HUA!)
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To: bruinbirdman
Here is a live video of more 'space junk' appearing over Mexico. Of course, the video could be a fake. Right ! It's probably a fake. But an entertaining fake any way.
11 posted on 04/15/2008 6:21:26 PM PDT by ex-Texan (Matthew 7: 1 - 6)
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To: Army Air Corps

“Um, the atmosphere doesent extend to 20,000 miles.”

Agreed. This is so sad though. I had thought that science training in the British primary schools was more rigorous than this. Even out here in the woods in Colorado, our second graders are aware of this. It would also appear that the journalistic standards in Britain have kept pace with their primary schools.


12 posted on 04/15/2008 6:32:36 PM PDT by Habibi
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To: EEDUDE
http://www.lostcosmonauts.com/
13 posted on 04/15/2008 6:34:46 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (Who Would Montgomery Brewster Choose?)
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To: bruinbirdman

I BIG bottle of Head and Shoulders ought to do the trick.


14 posted on 04/15/2008 6:36:59 PM PDT by LiberConservative (Part of the "Vast Typical White Guy Conspiracy")
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To: Habibi

The author seems to not know where the atmosphere ends. Frankly, this is a terribly old and rehashed news item. I guess saying “Space junk in the Atmosphere!” is more exiciting than saying, “Space junk in orbit!”


15 posted on 04/15/2008 6:39:27 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: EEDUDE
I think I got an email about a poor Nigeria cosmonaut the USSR stranded up there, and how his salary is just accruing in a bank account that his family needs help with getting the money...

Don't worry. Apparently, he's on a secret space station, so it's kind of hard to get away with sending anything other than supply craft. Nothing about bone loss either.

If I didn't get the email personally, then I read it, and about Nigerian email scams around the turn of the millennium.

16 posted on 04/15/2008 7:02:07 PM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

I’d really like to get the Hasselblad camera lost on one of the Gemini missions.


17 posted on 04/15/2008 7:05:33 PM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: BenLurkin

Just think. One of those has the remains of the poor cosmonaut that the Russians left up there when they couldn't get him back.

Sputnik 4 re-entered over Wisconsin in 62'. There was supposedly a "dummy" in it but there are supposedly distress messages that emanated from it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sputnik_4

18 posted on 04/15/2008 7:06:51 PM PDT by Snickering Hound
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To: nnn0jeh

ping


19 posted on 04/15/2008 7:22:24 PM PDT by kalee (The offenses we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we write in marble. JHuett)
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To: Habibi
"Even out here in the woods in Colorado, our second graders are aware of this. It would also appear that the journalistic standards in Britain have kept pace with their primary schools."

Second graders in the U.S. might be aware, but Time Magazine said more than a decade ago, "The threat is too grave to need scientific justification for corrective measures."

yitbos

20 posted on 04/15/2008 7:25:20 PM PDT by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds." - Ayn Rand)
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To: Army Air Corps
"this is a terribly old and rehashed news item."

Perhaps, the "computer-generated picture" is the focus of the article.

yitbos

21 posted on 04/15/2008 7:29:22 PM PDT by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds." - Ayn Rand)
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To: bruinbirdman

NASA has a really cool animated version that allows you to click on any satellite and see a brief on the Sat (launch date, type, orbit inclination, altitude, country of origin, etc.). I have the site bookmarked. :-)


22 posted on 04/15/2008 7:34:09 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: EEDUDE

This was told to me in the early 70s by a man with ties to the military side of our space program — that the Russians had a Cosmonaut in orbit who they could not retreive. The Americans were monitoring the radio communications and (or so this tale goes) listened to the panicing flyer as he pleaded with Soviet ground control to save him. Eventually the Cosmonaut ran out of air and died in orbit.

Have never been able to find confirmation. The guy was probably pulling my leg (?).


23 posted on 04/16/2008 6:48:00 AM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: Snickering Hound

Interesting.


24 posted on 04/16/2008 6:49:37 AM PDT by BenLurkin
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