YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsSpace Debris

Space Debris

January 5, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
A spent Russian booster rocket reentered the atmosphere over Wyoming and Colorado, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said. Witnesses reported seeing flaming objects in the sky at the time the rocket was reentering, NORAD spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Sean Kelly said. A Wyoming state trooper found a large burned spot in the snow beside a highway but no debris. "It was pretty spectacular," said Riverton Police Capt.
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.
September 21, 2006 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
NASA officials on Wednesday cleared the space shuttle Atlantis to land this morning, after final inspections of the spacecraft's skin turned up no evidence of damage from space debris. "We are cleared for entry," said shuttle program manager N. Wayne Hale Jr. "Nothing was found to be missing or damaged." Atlantis had been scheduled to land Wednesday, after a 12-day mission that included three spacewalks to install a truss and a set of solar arrays on the International Space Station.
July 24, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Another meteorite from Mars has been discovered in Antarctica, one of only about 30 known Martian space rocks on Earth. What makes this rock special is its comparatively large size, said Timothy J. McCoy, curator of meteorites at the Smithsonian Institution. "It's a 700-gram rock [about 1 1/2 pounds] but by meteorite standards it's a mountain of material," he said.
March 13, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Beagle 2, the British space probe that disappeared as it descended toward Mars, may have been spotted on the surface of the Red Planet. No signal has been received from the craft since it was due to land on Christmas Day. Satellite images of the area where Beagle 2 was to have come down show four bright spots, which may be the remains of the probe.
November 29, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
NASA will leave it to its Russian partners to determine whether an alarming noise aboard the international space station was caused by something hitting the 200-ton outpost, a spokesman for the U.S. space agency said in Cape Canaveral. On Wednesday, station Commander Michael Foale reported hearing a sound like a crunching tin can or flexing sheet metal coming from the rear of the Russian Zvezda module, which serves as a living quarters and galley for the two-man crew.
February 5, 2003 | Scott Gold and Ralph Vartabedian, Times Staff Writers
NASA investigators remain unconvinced that the chunk of foam insulation that struck Columbia's heat-resistant tiles on takeoff led to its destruction, and also are now considering the possibility the craft was struck by space debris while in orbit, the agency's chief flight director said Tuesday. "Did we take some hit?" Milt Heflin, the flight director, said in an interview Tuesday at Johnson Space Center. "That's a possibility. Something was breached."
May 17, 2002 | From Associated Press
The main orbit for the world's communications satellites--about 22,000 miles out in space--could become hazardous and unusable unless old, worn-out spacecraft are discarded into an orbiting junkyard deeper in space, a study suggests. Orbiting spacecraft debris already presents a hazard in low Earth orbit, say experts, noting that the International Space Station was maneuvered Wednesday to avoid a potential collision.
December 4, 2001 | From Associated Press
Two spacewalking cosmonauts removed an old rubber seal stuck to the international space station, clearing the way for space shuttle Endeavour to lift off today on a flight to the orbiting outpost. Launch is set for just after sunset amid unprecedented security to guard against terrorist attacks. Endeavour will deliver a new crew of three to the space station.
Los Angeles Times Articles