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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Space debris has damaged a window of the ISS

Astronaut Timothy Peake posted may 12 Internet the Windows the window of the International space station with a crack that has formed due to space debris. Rush explained that sometimes this happens, but the ISS is equipped with good protection system (for example, the window, took the blow, multi-layer), and therefore the life of the space station crew safe. However, scientists are increasingly talking about the fact that space debris is a huge problem for near-earth space. Read more about it the correspondent of “MK” talked with the Professor, doctor of technical Sciences and chief researcher of the research Institute “Kosmonet” Andrey NAZARENKO.

photo: pixabay.com

– Until recently, the General public is not particularly interested in the topic of space debris, – the expert speaks, – but that all changed after the events of 2009, when I first faced two space satellites. It was an American machine “Iridium 33 and Russian satellite Cosmos-2251”, which at the moment is not used. As a result of their collision formed a huge number of pieces — about 2 million — some of which are still flying around the earth.

– At what height from the Earth there is the greatest probability of collision with space debris?

– At an altitude of 700-900 km, the ISS flies at a distance of approximately 400 km from Land, where the danger of a collision much less. The fact is that space debris out there are attracted to the earth’s atmosphere and then burn it. However, the risk of cosmic “accident” is still there. About 10 years ago I ran the calculations and it turned out that at a distance of 400 km from the Earth the probability that a piece of debris breaks through the wall of the spacecraft, is about 1 incident in 15 years. Fortunately, on the ISS that did not happen.

– And what are the consequences of such collision?

– Of course, and depressurization of the station, and the risk for crew life. You understand — the force with which a piece of space debris is only about 1 centimeter crashed into the obstacle on the near-earth orbit, roughly comparable with the force of a collision between two cars at speeds of 50-60 km/h And the farther man explores space — the more around the Earth of garbage, which is at a distance of 700-900 km from the planet is thousands of years old.

Help “MK”

28 968 km/h is the average speed of space debris (about 20 times faster than the speed of sound);

7 mm is the size of a crack on the window of the ISS from a collision

with a small fragment of debris;

10 cm — at this size of the fragment of space debris when hit

in the ISS there is a threat to the life of astronauts.

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