Thousands of nuts, bolts, gloves and other debris from space missions form an orbiting garbage dump around Earth, presenting a hazard to spacecraft. Some of the bits and pieces scream along at 17,500 mph.
Ashes of ‘Star Trek’ Creator
Gene Roddenberry,best known as the creator of Star Trek, died on October 24, 1991, of heart failure at the age of 70. In 1992, a portion of Roddenberry’s ashes were carried on board the Space Shuttle Columbia during the STS-52 mission. On April 21, 1997, a lipstick-sized capsule carrying a portion of Roddenberry’s ashes, along with those of Timothy Leary and 19 other individuals, were launched into orbit aboard an air-launched Pegasus XL rocket near the Canary Islands as part of the Celestis “Founder’s Flight” by parent company Space Services International.By 2004, the orbital height of the secondary payload capsule containing the cremains had deteriorated enough that the capsule disintegrated in the atmosphere. Another Space Services’ “Voyager Flight” is planned for 2012 to launch more of Roddenberry’s ashes into deep space along with his late wife Majel’s ashes
480 million tiny copper needles
At the height of the Cold War in the late 1950s, all international communications were either sent through undersea cables or bounced off of the natural ionosphere. The United States military was concerned that the Soviets or other “Hostile Actors”the US Military looked to space to help solve their communications weakness. Their solution was to create an artificial ionosphere.
In May 1963, the US Air Force launched 480 million tiny copper needles that briefly created a ring encircling the entire globe. They called it Project West Ford. The engineers behind the project hoped that it would serve as a prototype for two more permanent rings that would forever guarantee their ability to communicate across the globe. might cut those cables, forcing the unpredictable ionosphere to be the only means of communication with overseas forces.
The final donut-shaped cloud was 15 km wide and 30 km thick and encircled the globe at an altitude of 3700 km, some of them are still there.
A Russian cosmonaut set a new record for the longest golf drive in history after hitting a lightweight ball while tethered to the outside of the International Space Station (ISS).
NASA officials estimate the ball will travel about a million miles round the Earth before deorbiting and burning up in the planet’s atmosphere in 2 to 3 days, thus posing no risk to the station
The cosmic golf drive was part of a commercial agreement between the Russian Federal Space Agency and the Canadian golf firm, Element 21.
The astronauts’ toolbox
A spacewalking astronaut accidentally let go of her tool bag after a grease gun inside it exploded, and helplessly watched as it floated away with everything inside.
It was one of the largest items ever to be lost by a spacewalker, and occurred during an unprecedented attempt to clean and lube a gummed-up joint on a solar panel.
The bag, worth $100,000 (£67,000), has so far been spotted and filmed by a space watcher in Ontario, Canada.
Over the years, most of the urine produced by astronauts has been simply dumped overboard. Once pee hits the cold vacuum of space, it quickly freezes into tiny crystals which then float around as debris. (Astronauts have described watching urine being released into space as one of the most beautiful sights in orbit). Recently, however, a new pee-recycling system was brought up to the International Space Station to turn urine into drinking water, cutting down on the pee debris.
Mystery Object Orbits Earth
Something odd is circling our planet. It’s small, perhaps only 60-ft long, and rotates once every minute or so. Amateur astronomer Bill Yeung first spotted the 16th magnitude speck of light on Sept. 3rd in the constellation Pisces. He named it J002E3.
Since its first sighting scientists had suspected that the object as a small asteroid. But further observations have proven that JOO2E3 was manufactured by humans, and is probably the long-lost third stage of the Apollo 12 rocket that took astronauts to the moon in 1969.
Apparently, an astronaut lost a “space spatula” that is now orbiting the earth.
The mishap took place during the space shuttle Discovery’s 2006 STS-121 flight to the International Space Station, on a mission to test new safety techniques after the 2003 Columbia disaster.
The $2700 spatula drifted out of Sellers’s tool kit while he was conducting repair tests outside the shuttle Discovery.
“My spatch has escaped… it was tethered to me,” he reported to ground controllers during his 7hr 11min spacewalk. “It’s gone, gone, gone. Nobody’s going to find it.”
In 1965, during the first american space walk, the Gemini 4 astronaut Edward White, lost a glove. For a month, the glove stayed on orbit with a speed of 28,000 km / h, becoming the most dangerous garment in history.
Cross in Space
We found this weird project called “The Cross in Space.” The aim of this project is – you guessed it – to shoot a cross into space.
At a mere two inches tall, the cross will be launched into space through Space Services, Inc – in an apparent attempt to invoke the End of Days.
The man who is arranging this “historic” event is Arthur Blessitt. If you’re not familiar with Blessitt, he won the Guinness World Record for “World’s Longest Walk” in 1996.
Astronaut Suni Williams was tussling with a stuck solar array on the space station in June 2007 when her camera came untethered and drifted away. Rather than astronaut error, this incident may have been caused when the button holding down the camera broke.