back to article ISS 'nauts need not fear head-on space junk smashup

Crew on the International Space Station will no longer have to hide from a possible collision with some space debris, after NASA flight controllers decided it posed no threat to the station. The ISS 'nauts had been told to take shelter in their Soyuz spacecraft in case the debris from the Fengyun 1C, a Chinese satellite, hit …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fengyun 1-C

    This would be the weather satellite the Chinese so charmingly decided to blow up and fill low orbit with tens of thousands of pieces of debris. It'd be justice if the Tiangong 1 unmanned space station took a broadside.

  2. CowardlyAndrew

    Whoever figures out a way to collect debris and use it for something useful will be onto a winner.

    All those aerospace metals, could be used to make an ugly but functional level of shielding around craft.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Shepherd Moon !

      That's all they need is to capture a nice large rock about a mile across will do, and place it in orbit, job done ! Lets go fly an Asteroid, Up to the highest height!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Safe? I don't read 'safe' anywhere in that article

    "ISS 'nauts need not fear head-on space junk smashup"


    "Even tiny paint flecks can damage a spacecraft when traveling at these velocities"

  4. JeffyPooh

    Why do they paint space gadgets?

    For some items it makes sense. But there's no need to paint a satellite that will spend its life in a vacuum where nobody can see it. Must. Discourage. Paint.

    1. Stevie


      More to the point, why are they racing around at such insane speeds? Surely they would be able to dodge this "space junk" if they kept to between 30 and 40 mph like the rest of us?

      This is just flyboy madness at taxpayer expense, and it must be stamped out.

    2. Anonymous Cowbard

      Why paint?

      One of the biggest problems for space kit is dissipating heat. In a vacuum you have to work hard to get rid of heat.

      By painting kit white you can reflect some heat (from the sun) away, making the task less hard.

      That's why most things in space are painted white.

  5. John P

    I for one

    welcome our high-velocity-paint-fleck-flinging iss-targeting overlords.

    icon - one day...

  6. Wombling_Free

    Don't worry boys, it's one of ours!

    Yay! The ISS, symbol of the FREE WORLD is safe from hurtling debris left by those BAD COMMIES the EEEEVIL CHINESE! (Not the GOOD COMMIES, the Russians, they are our FRIENDS, because they love FREEDOM!)

    Footnote: please ignore any US space debris, as it poses no threat at all, no siree! Not done no darn threat y'all, havin' a nice day now, y'hear?

  7. 尼尔

    17k +?

    I'd have thought it was only the relative speed they had to worry about, which could be quite low.

    1. Jared Hunt

      Only if the bit of junk is in the same orbit as the station otherwise the relative velocity could even be a lot higher than 17k +

    2. AndrueC Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Orbits can be in any direction with respect to a given craft. It's not like some gigantic one-way system up there. Other objects can approach you from anywhere including head-on.

  8. Esskay

    What, no capitalisation?

    Surely if this announcement came from NASA the headline should read:


  9. Steve 48

    They need to get rid of all that old space junk - what they need is a big vacuum....

  10. Sir Adam-All

    ...big vacuum

    like the one from Spacballs !!!

  11. Sir Adam-All


    that was obviously meant to say SpacEballs ... :)

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