Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsSpace Debris
IN THE NEWS

Space Debris

FEATURED ARTICLES
BUSINESS
February 17, 2012 | By Deborah Netburn
Outer space is about to get its first janitor satellite. Engineers from the Swiss Space Center at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne announced this week that they soon will begin work on CleanSpace One, a prototype for a line of brand-new satellites whose sole mission will be to remove defunct satellites from orbit. If the prototype is successful, the EPFL hopes to create a family of "de-orbiting" satellites so that humanity can practice in space what the Boy Scouts preach here on Earth - take only pictures (or data readings)
ARTICLES BY DATE
SCIENCE
March 22, 2013 | By Amina Khan
Bruce Willis and his asteroid-fighting abilities in “Armageddon” may have been the star of a Senate hearing this week, but giant space rocks are only one of the many dangers that human civilization must tackle, researchers said on Capitol Hill. Our complex web of technology is at risk on an everyday basis, said Richard DalBello, a vice president at Intelsat General and a witness at the subcommittee hearing on space threats.   “We have to daily deal with a range of threats,” he said.
Advertisement
SCIENCE
November 12, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Climate change from greenhouse gas emissions might threaten spacecraft as well as people, a scientists suggested on Sunday, providing direct evidence that carbon dioxide from human activity is affecting the outermost portion of the Earth's atmosphere. In a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience , a research team led by John Emmert of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory's Space Science Division in Washington, described a new method for quantifying increases in carbon dioxide in the hard-to-measure portion of the upper atmosphere known as the thermosphere, which can't be reached by balloons and aircraft.
SCIENCE
March 20, 2013 | By Amina Khan
Faced with space debris, solar weather and giant space rocks, senators at a subcommittee hearing called for backup in the form of a fictitious asteroid-hunter as they discussed the many space-born threats Earth faces. "I was disappointed that Bruce Willis was not available to be a fifth witness on the panel," joked Ted Cruz (R-Texas) during Wednesday morning's hearing. "There probably is no doubt that actually Hollywood has done more to focus attention on this issue than perhaps a thousand congressional hearings could do,” he added.
NEWS
June 24, 1993 | Associated Press
There is so much junk in orbit that Endeavour's astronauts had to delay a jet firing Wednesday to avoid a close encounter with a 28-year-old spent Russian rocket. It was the fourth time within two years that shuttle astronauts had to take steps to avoid trash in space. There are hundreds of thousands of pieces bigger than a marble floating up there, from space missions dating back to 1958.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 1996 | ROBERT LEE HOTZ, Times Science Writer
It was well past 1 a.m. on Jan. 12 when, alerted by flight controllers in Houston, astronauts aboard the space shuttle Endeavour fired the control jets to avoid slamming into an abandoned U.S. Air Force satellite hurtling toward them. The 350-pound disabled satellite, designed to detect ballistic missile launches, had been orbiting out of contact with Earth since being launched 18 months earlier from Vandenburg Air Force Base.
SCIENCE
June 2, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Two Russian cosmonauts climbed out of the International Space Station on Wednesday to install panels designed to shield the orbiting outpost from space debris. Space debris includes objects such as discarded rocket parts, planetary dust and rocks.
NEWS
October 12, 1990 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A congressional report warns that shuttle flights and other space activity could become too risky within the next 20 to 30 years if nations continue to litter the most traveled paths. Already, the trouble-plagued Hubble Telescope has been given a 1-in-100 chance of being severely damaged by space debris during its lifetime, according to the Office of Technology Assessment. "Even small debris particles can produce high levels of damage," one expert said.
SCIENCE
March 22, 2013 | By Amina Khan
Bruce Willis and his asteroid-fighting abilities in “Armageddon” may have been the star of a Senate hearing this week, but giant space rocks are only one of the many dangers that human civilization must tackle, researchers said on Capitol Hill. Our complex web of technology is at risk on an everyday basis, said Richard DalBello, a vice president at Intelsat General and a witness at the subcommittee hearing on space threats.   “We have to daily deal with a range of threats,” he said.
NEWS
April 1, 1990
Edward L. Fireman, an astrophysicist who was one of the first scientists to examine rocks brought back from the moon in 1969, has died. He was 68. Fireman died Thursday in Boston as the result of a heart attack. "This is worth about $5 million. I'm going to get out of town with it as soon as I can," Fireman had joked on Sept. 12, 1969, when two-ounce vials of moon dust were given to each of six scientists.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 2, 2013 | By Holly Myers
It will come as news to many, no doubt, that there is a Warhol on the moon. And a Rauschenberg and an Oldenburg - a whole "Moon Museum," in fact, containing the work of six artists in all, in the form of drawings inscribed on the surface of a ceramic chip roughly the size of a thumbprint. Conceived by the artist Forrest Myers in 1969, the chip was fabricated in collaboration with scientists at Bell Laboratories and illicitly slipped by a willing engineer between some sheets of insulation on the Apollo 12 lander module.
SCIENCE
November 12, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Climate change from greenhouse gas emissions might threaten spacecraft as well as people, a scientists suggested on Sunday, providing direct evidence that carbon dioxide from human activity is affecting the outermost portion of the Earth's atmosphere. In a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience , a research team led by John Emmert of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory's Space Science Division in Washington, described a new method for quantifying increases in carbon dioxide in the hard-to-measure portion of the upper atmosphere known as the thermosphere, which can't be reached by balloons and aircraft.
BUSINESS
February 17, 2012 | By Deborah Netburn
Outer space is about to get its first janitor satellite. Engineers from the Swiss Space Center at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne announced this week that they soon will begin work on CleanSpace One, a prototype for a line of brand-new satellites whose sole mission will be to remove defunct satellites from orbit. If the prototype is successful, the EPFL hopes to create a family of "de-orbiting" satellites so that humanity can practice in space what the Boy Scouts preach here on Earth - take only pictures (or data readings)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 22, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
"Well, here it is," said aerospace engineer William Ailor as he paused next to the hulking metal shells arrayed along the plaza outside a visitors entrance at Aerospace Corp.'s El Segundo headquarters. The stuff is junk. But, Ailor said, it's no ordinary junk. This garbage has traveled to space and back. A 150-pound hollow sphere of blackened titanium is all that remains of a motor casing from a Delta II rocket that fell to Earth in 2001, landing in the Saudi Arabian desert west of Riyadh.
NATIONAL
March 17, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
NASA gave the all-clear to the International Space Station, telling astronauts they would not need to steer away from a piece of satellite junk. Cape Canaveral experts had at one point believed that the debris might pass within a half-mile of the station today, just ahead of the shuttle Discovery's arrival. But as they studied the path of the small debris from an old Soviet satellite, engineers ascertained it would remain at a safe distance. A maneuver by the station would have forced Discovery to adjust its course for docking.
WORLD
February 14, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
The collision of a U.S. commercial satellite and a derelict Russian military satellite generated an estimated tens of thousands of fragments that could threaten other satellites for 10,000 years, space experts said. Russian Mission Control chief Vladimir Solovyov said Tuesday's smashup poses serious danger to tracking and communications satellites in a popular orbit about 500 miles high, and that even tiny fragments are dangerous because they and the spacecraft travel at high speeds.
SCIENCE
April 16, 2008 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
A successful Chinese missile test last year that destroyed one of China's own aging satellites has substantially added to space debris around Earth, increasing the danger that a chain reaction of colliding space junk could threaten parts of the world's satellite network, scientists said Tuesday.
NATIONAL
October 6, 2006 | From Reuters
A piece of space debris punched a small hole in one of the space shuttle Atlantis' radiator panels during its recent 12-day spaceflight, NASA said Thursday. Damage from debris has been NASA's top safety issue since the destruction of the shuttle Columbia in February 2003, when insulating foam came off the ship's fuel tank during launch and punched a hole in the shuttle's heat shield.
SCIENCE
April 16, 2008 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
A successful Chinese missile test last year that destroyed one of China's own aging satellites has substantially added to space debris around Earth, increasing the danger that a chain reaction of colliding space junk could threaten parts of the world's satellite network, scientists said Tuesday.
NATIONAL
July 24, 2007 | From the Associated Press
A spacewalking astronaut did some major housecleaning Monday at the International Space Station, tossing out a camera mounting and an ammonia tank weighing more than half a ton. The outdated equipment joined more than 9,000 pieces of orbital debris already being tracked from Earth. "I'll be sending my bill in the mail for trash disposal," Clayton Anderson joked to Mission Control. Anderson hurled the 1,400-pound, refrigerator-size ammonia tank away from the station with a shove.
Los Angeles Times Articles
|