Dangerous space debris – Space debris strikes the Earth uncontrollably

Dangerous space debris – Space debris strikes the Earth uncontrollably

Sometime between 11:30 a.m. Friday and 7:30 a.m. Saturday, parts of an SUV-sized battery hit the ground somewhere, in what was described as an uncontrolled fall, according to the astronomy website. EarthSky.

– It will not completely burn up on its way through the atmosphere – about half a ton of fragments will likely hit the Earth's surface, astronomer Jonathan McDowell wrote at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics X.

He adds:

– He is expected to make an undisciplined comeback tomorrow.

The authorities are watching

In Germany, the Bundesamt für Bevölkerungsschutz und Katastrofenhilfe – the counterpart to the Norwegian Directorate for Social Security and Emergency Preparedness – took the impending event so seriously that it sacrificed it. Article on their website.

Before the 2,633-kilogram battery pack enters the atmosphere, it passes several times over the central parts of Germany. But no one knows for sure where the fragments will hit.

A growing problem: More than 37,000 objects larger than a tennis ball currently orbit the Earth — and the number is growing. Image: ESA/REX/NTP
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– That this poses a risk to Germany is still considered statistically unlikely so far, writes the directorate.

Arrived via cargo ship

The battery pack originated from the International Space Station (ISS), arriving at the station on a Japanese cargo ship in May 2020. It was “thrown overboard” with the empty batteries on March 11, 2021, and has since been orbiting at close proximity to Earth. Constantly decreasing height.

The problem with so-called “space junk” is not new. On February 21, the remains of a satellite hit the Earth's surface in the Pacific Ocean between Alaska and Hawaii, after 30 years of service.

Near disaster: Astronauts in a SpaceX spacecraft are about to collide with an object in space on April 23, 2021. Video: AP. Reporter: Vegard Kruger
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Space junk is the remains floating in space after nearly 70 years of human activity there, and no one has taken responsibility for cleaning it up.

According to Chris Impey of the University of Arizona, there are more than 37,000 objects larger than a tennis ball currently orbiting the Earth.

Risk of collision

Aside from the obvious danger of space junk falling into something or someone, there is also a real risk of spacecraft colliding with it.

The alarm was raised after the launch of the Indian satellite

The alarm was raised after the launch of the Indian satellite


In 1978, NASA scientist Donald Kessler came up with what later became called… Kessler syndrome: That when more and more satellites are sent into orbit relatively close to Earth, this will lead to a series of successive collisions, each of which generates new space debris, which in turn increases the probability of new collisions.

As if that were not enough, there were also about a hundred bags of human excrement left on the moon after the Apollo program in the sixties and seventies. It is natural that the number will increase when planned “Artemis” program. It starts correctly.

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Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

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