Latest News Space Debris Hits Window of Space-Station Video -

Latest News Space Debris Hits Window of Space-Station Video

The European-built Cupola was added to the International Space position in 2010 and continues to provide the top room with a view anywhere. In adding to serving as an observation and work area when the crew operate the Station’s robotic arms, it also provides excellent views of Earth, celestial matter and visit vehicles. Its fused-silica and borosilicate-glass windows, however, a little bit suffer from impacts by tiny artificial objects: space debris.
ESA astronaut Tim Peake took this photo from in Cupola last month, showing a 7 mm-diameter round chip gouged out by the crash from a tiny piece of space debris, possibly a paint flake or small metal fragment no bigger than a small number of thousandths of a millimeter across. The background presently shows the inky blackness of space.
I am often asking if the International Space place is hit by space debris. Yes – this is the chip in one of our Cupola windows, glad it is quadruple glazed!” says Peake.
To cater for such possibilities, the Station is provided with extensive shielding around all vital crew and technical areas, so that minor strikes, like this one, pose no threat.
While a chip like the one exposed here may be minor, larger debris would pose a grave threat. An object up to 1 cm in size could put out of action an instrument or a dangerous flight system on a satellite. Anything above 1 cm could go through the shields of the Station’s crew modules, and anything better than 10 cm could break a satellite or spacecraft into pieces.
Latest News Space Debris Hits Window of Space-Station Video
“ESA is at the forefront of mounting and implementing debris-mitigation guidelines, because the best way to avoid problems from orbital debris is not to cause them in the opening place,” says Holger Krag, Head of ESA’s Space Debris Office.

“These guidelines are practical to all new missions flown by ESA, and include discarding fuel tanks and discharging batteries at the finish of a mission, to avoid explosions, and ensuring that satellites reenter the atmosphere and securely burn up within 25 years of the finish of their working-lives.”

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