Saturday, March 14, 2009
One Man's Trash is Another Man's Trash
The crew of the space station had to take shelter in the emergency Soyuz TMA-13 lifeboat spacecraft to duck from a piece of trash. The piece, as big around as your baby finger was part of a spent motor used to send satellites into a higher geosynchronous orbit. It's only going to get worse as old space junk and new junk from the recent satellite collision spreads all around.
Virgin Galactic has been making test flights of their WhiteKnightTwo mothership, which will take SpaceShipTwo to a high altitude, where they will separate and SpaceShipTwo will go even higher to a suborbital altitude. There are so many people wanting to go into space that if they could only turn an economy flight into a garbage collection run. Imagine paying to ride the back of the garbage truck.
The Discovery space shuttle was delayed again, new date of launch is set for March 15. The shuttle has a badly needed part for the station urine recycler which keeps breaking. You don't suppose that one of the crew members is sabotaging it on purpose. A future French astronaut was quoted as saying, "I bring my own Perrier.” I am reminded of the movie 'Dark Star' where all the recycled food started tasting like chicken salad sandwich.