ISS debris avoidance

Dec 3, 2021
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How likely is it for NASA to miss some mid-sized piece of space debris, resulting in said space debris impacting the ISS? Just curious.
 

Wolfshadw

Moderator
Apr 1, 2020
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Depends on what you consider, "mid-sized". The Space Surveillance Network can track objects as small as five centimeters in diameter (in low Earth orbit). Smaller objects, down to flecks of paint can still cause serious issues with orbiting satellites/space stations. The US Shuttle had to frequently replace it's windows due to such impacts.

-Wolf sends
 
Jan 28, 2022
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Shouldnt those who put stuff up there be responsible for the consequences like when it falls down? Like here you cant just dump stuff on the highways or let stuff block them
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
So, sooner or later, there are going to be really serious occurrences which add so much to mission costings that they will become impracticable and space exploration will be costed out?

Or does this make transfer to Moon base essential at an early date?

Cat :)
 
Apr 20, 2022
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So, sooner or later, there are going to be really serious occurrences which add so much to mission costings that they will become impracticable and space exploration will be costed out?

Or does this make transfer to Moon base essential at an early date?
We need a moon as soon as possible.
 
May 14, 2021
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Even with software and folks watching the orbits of all this stuff, with literally millions of pieces of junk up there, one day it’ll be ‘Oops! We missed that one!’
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Ooops! Well, there was bound to be a bad crash sooner or later. It just happened sooner. Same imaginary time frame as #10 - don't worry now.

To what extent will this disaster affect the control of space development?

Cat :)
 
May 14, 2021
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Like any other human endeavor, we just keep going as long as funding holds out until something major happens, then we’ll try to fix it with bandaids.
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
I am envisaging that, if we continue to pollute space environs, and that if we wish to build Moon base(s), let alone Mars manned landing(s), there will be conflict between manned flights and increased pollution.

If we wish to 'visit' Moon and/or Mars with view to bases " twere best done quickly ". If left too long, pollution will interfere with base traffic. Base traffic will be considerably more expensive than local garbage precursors.

Cat :)
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Recent events are a strong reminder of this issue:

I am envisaging that, if we continue to pollute space environs, and that if we wish to build Moon base(s), let alone Mars manned landing(s), there will be conflict between manned flights and increased pollution.

If we wish to 'visit' Moon and/or Mars with view to bases " twere best done quickly ". If left too long, pollution will interfere with base traffic. Base traffic will be considerably more expensive than local garbage precursors.
Cat :)
 
Aug 2, 2022
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Depends on what you consider, "mid-sized". The Space Surveillance Network can track objects as small as five centimeters in diameter (in low Earth orbit). Smaller objects, down to flecks of paint can still cause serious issues with orbiting satellites/space stations. The US Shuttle had to frequently replace it's windows due to such impacts.

-Wolf sends
Flecks of paint et al. will not destroy the station, just make pits. The 5+ cm pieces are tracked and avoided. The problem is the 1-4 cm pieces we are blind to but will trash any module(s) they hit, think along the lines of a small, non-explosive artillery shell kind-of-thing. The 5+ guys are relatively rare (miss distances up to a mile or so trigger newsworthy avoidance), but the number of smaller pieces is only estimated, but the danger from them is still MUCH smaller than the danger of the Russians deliberately disabling the station out of pique.
 
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Aug 2, 2022
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Do I not understand correctly, that a larger than expected space object has knocked part of the JWST about a bit?

How large does one expect them to be?

Cat :)
The Webb mirrors are especially especially fragile and susceptible to damage from debris. This Webb debris was very small, likely the size of a smoke particle or even smaller. And the damage is mainly miniscule misalignment and warping of the exquisitely engineered and aligned mirror segments. Does not translate to the experience of grossly large damage to earth orbiting satellites, something you can push a soccer ball through.
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
The Webb mirrors are especially especially fragile and susceptible to damage from debris.
Also very expensive. One wonders whether any insurance company would take them on? I would agree that meteoroids can always be larger than you expect.

Cat :)
 
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Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
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Jun 29, 2022
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Do "we" have the technology/capability, both actually, to equip satellites/space stations, etc. with some type of shield that could be projected far enough around the object needing protection from space debris, that could burn the debris up or deflect it out of harm's way?...

Maybe use some type of laser/ray type of device?...Yes, I'm in reality talking about some sort of "force" field?....
 
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Jun 29, 2022
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Also very expensive. One wonders whether any insurance company would take them on? I would agree that meteoroids can always be larger than you expect.

Cat :)
Currently, I don't see how they could?...From what I have read, there are ZERO options available to avoid such events...

Even with the ability to maneuver the vehicle, it still seems that there are too many objects to avoid reasonabily?...However, I'm not an rocket scientist either *LOL*...
 
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Jun 29, 2022
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Flecks of paint et al. will not destroy the station, just make pits. The 5+ cm pieces are tracked and avoided. The problem is the 1-4 cm pieces we are blind to but will trash any module(s) they hit, think along the lines of a small, non-explosive artillery shell kind-of-thing. The 5+ guys are relatively rare (miss distances up to a mile or so trigger newsworthy avoidance), but the number of smaller pieces is only estimated, but the danger from them is still MUCH smaller than the danger of the Russians deliberately disabling the station out of pique.
Why can't we "capture" an object of concern while still in orbit, then return it to earth and disperse of it on earth?
 
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Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Rusty,
One wonders whether any insurance company would take them on? I would agree that meteoroids can always be larger than you expect.
Cat :)

You replied:
Currently, I don't see how they could?...
That says it all. If the probability is so small, surely one would take them on. Also, if it happened, probably neither party would be around to either claim or pay out. Meanwhile, they can collect the premiums whilst they grow old . . . . . . . . .

Cat :)
 
Aug 2, 2022
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Why can't we "capture" an object of concern while still in orbit, then return it to earth and disperse of it on earth?
Money, money, money. $100 million to capture a few suitcased sized pieces of which there are thousands, $100 million to capture a dozen or so baseball sized pieces of which there are likely 10,000. The sand grain sized can't even really be seen, and if they were, 100's of trillions of dollars, there are likely a few hundred thousand of them or more.
 
Aug 2, 2022
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Do I not understand correctly, that a larger than expected space object has knocked part of the JWST about a bit?

How large does one expect them to be?

Cat :)
They have models from older interplanetary craft, essentially the size distribution of what hits you, and the flux. Measured, known data.
 

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