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Hog Farmer
07-02-2010, 01:55 PM
Russian Spaceship Zooms Out of Control Near Space Station
By Tariq Malik

Published July 02, 2010
| Space.com



The unmanned Russian Progress 38 cargo ship launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on June 30, 2010 carrying 2.5 tons of supplies for the station's Expedition 24 crew.

An unmanned Russian cargo ship has veered out of control near the International Space Station, sailing clear past the orbiting lab instead of docking on autopilot, as engineers on Earth struggle to determine what went wrong.

The robotic cargo ship Progress 38 was slated to dock at the space station at 12:58 p.m. EDT (1658 GMT) but lost its navigational lock on the orbiting lab about 25 minutes before the rendezvous.

"The Progress literally flew past the station, but at a safe distance from the outpost," NASA commentator Rob Navias said. "The station crew reported seeing the Progress drift beyond their view, as they worked to reestablish telemetry with the spacecraft."

The Progress 38 spacecraft flew by the space station at a distance of a couple
miles away, posing no threat of impact. But because of its orbit, there may not be a second chance to dock the spacecraft by remote control today, Navias said.

Known in Russia as Progress M-06M, the new Progress 38 spacecraft is packed with nearly 2.5 tons of fresh food, clothes, equipment and other supplies for the space station's six-person crew. It launched Wednesday from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan,

Packed aboard the spacecraft are 1,918 pounds of propellant for the station,14 John Elway posters, 2000 condoms, one Tim Tebow autographed copy of playgirl, 110 pounds of oxygen, 220 pounds of water and 2,667 pounds of dry cargo -- which includes spare parts, science equipment and other supplies. Russia's disposable Progress spacecraft are similar in appearance to the three-module Soyuz space taxis that ferry crews to and from the space station.

Both vehicles have a propulsion and orbital module, however Progress vehicles do not have a crew-carrying module like the Soyuz ships. Instead, Progress vehicles are equipped with a propellant module to store fuel for the space station's maneuvering thrusters.

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220pounds of water. That's only like 25 gallons. I'm betting that thing has been confiscated by the lizard gods from planet Nibiru.

Frazod
07-02-2010, 01:56 PM
What a great time to mothball our entire fucking shuttle fleet! WOOHOO :shake:

Gonzo
07-02-2010, 02:07 PM
What a great time to mothball our entire fucking shuttle fleet! WOOHOO :shake:

ROFL

You are such a cosmonut.
Posted via Mobile Device

blaise
07-02-2010, 02:10 PM
See, the reults of our spy crackdown are surfacing already.

Ebolapox
07-02-2010, 02:11 PM
this is ground control to major vladimer.

Donger
07-02-2010, 02:24 PM
Yikes. Sounds like they used Apple hardware engineers to design the flight control system.

"Just don't fly it like that."

vailpass
07-02-2010, 02:32 PM
Kessler Syndrome

vailpass
07-02-2010, 02:37 PM
Clearing Space
The final frontier is littered with dead spacecraft and shrapnel. It’s a hypervelocity menace. How can we clean it up?
Other NASA scientists worry about getting astronauts off the ground or sending interplanetary probes to Pluto. Nicholas Johnson worries about a nightmare scenario called the Kessler syndrome, named for his colleague Donald Kessler, who first described it in the 1970s. The scenario begins in an overcrowded orbit. Two massive pieces of hardware—satellites, say, or spent booster rockets—slam together at more than 20,000 miles an hour, smashing each other into hundreds of pieces. One piece then collides with another spacecraft, creating hundreds more pieces—and so on in a slowly building chain reaction that culminates in a belt of space shrapnel too dense for anything to traverse safely.

Until last year, says Johnson, chief scientist at NASA’s Orbital Debris Program Office, “the danger was purely academic.” But on February 10, 2009, the world witnessed its first full-blown hypervelocity crack-up. An Iridium communications satellite collided with a defunct Russian satellite 500 miles above Siberia. That one alarming mishap added about 2,000 large pieces to the cloud of debris orbiting Earth.

Last December NASA and the Department of Defense hosted an international conference on ways to clean up the mess. The world’s space agencies already track the larger bits of trash, allowing spacecraft, especially manned ones, to evade them. And in 2007 the UN recommended some sensible preventive measures, such as draining propellant from spent boosters to keep them from exploding, and not using old satellites for missile target practice—which, coincidentally, China had done earlier that year.

But those guidelines won’t prevent accidental collisions; not every spacecraft can dodge the superfast flak. “For the next 50 years,” says Johnson, “we’re looking at a collision between two large spacecraft every five years or so.” That probably won’t be enough yet to trigger the Kessler nightmare. On the other hand, a working cleanup scheme seems just as far off.

“It turns out,” says Johnson, “to be a very, very difficult thing to do.” At the conference researchers discussed several ways of dealing with space junk. A long, electrically conducting wire could be hung from a dead satellite or other large bits of junk, tethering the junk to Earth’s magnetic field and dragging it into the atmosphere, where it would burn up. Or a collector satellite, a sort of space garbage truck, could simply scoop junk up, haul it down near the atmosphere, and release it into a death spiral.

For the bits of trash only a few inches across, which are hard to dodge but still damaging, a powerful orbiting laser might work. So might a more passive approach—a giant ball of foam that would sit in space like a spiderweb, sweeping up debris. The foam wouldn’t actually capture the debris; like the tether it would simply drain enough energy from the speeding bullets that they’d spiral into the atmosphere. “Of course,” Johnson admits, “launching a mile-wide Nerf ball might be difficult.” —Michael D. Lemonick

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/big-idea/12/space-trash

Pants
07-02-2010, 02:55 PM
Yikes. Sounds like they used Apple hardware engineers to design the flight control system.

"Just don't fly it like that."

LMAO

38yrsfan
07-02-2010, 03:00 PM
“Of course,” Johnson admits, “launching a mile-wide Nerf ball might be difficult.” —Michael D. Lemonick

The launch system group is modifying these:

http://halfdone.files.wordpress.com/2007/03/usb-cannon-beauty-shot.jpg