space junk

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When Space Junk Hits a Home, Who Pays for Repairs?

Florida incident is 'kind of unprecedented,' space law expert says

(Newser) - It's a question that could appear on a law school exam: If a home is hit by debris falling from space, who is liable for the repairs? The question isn't theoretical for Naples, Florida, resident Alejandro Otero, whose home was hit by debris from the International Space Station...

Major Piece of Space Junk Heads This Way

Most of a pallet released by the International Space Station will burn up in Earth's atmosphere, but not all

(Newser) - A 2.9-ton piece of space junk, the heaviest discard ever from the International Space Station, is due to reach the Earth's atmosphere any time now. The pallet, which was used for a battery upgrade, was released by Canadarm2 in March 2021, Quartz reports. A Harvard-Smithsonian astronomer said the...

NASA Watched 'Helplessly' as 2 Satellites Got Perilously Close

Space agency's TIMED spacecraft, defunct Russian satellite came within 65 feet of each other last week

(Newser) - Last week, a NASA satellite "almost got clobbered high above Earth." That's the scoop from , which reports on a near collision last Wednesday between the space agency's Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) research spacecraft, which has been in space studying data since...

Dish Network Hit With First-Ever Space Junk Fine

Company fined $150K for leaving satellite too low

(Newser) - Satellite TV provider Dish Network has chalked up a first in telecommunications history, but it's not one the Colorado-based company is likely to brag about. The Federal Communications Commission has penalized the company $150,000 in the agency's first-ever fine connected to space junk, the BBC reports. The...

Mystery Object That Washed Up on Aussie Beach Identified
Mystery Object
That Washed Up on
Aussie Beach Identified

Mystery Object That Washed Up on Aussie Beach Identified

Australian Space Agency says it's space junk from Indian rocket; India's space group needs to confirm

(Newser) - The mystery of a giant metal object that washed up on an Australian beach may finally be solved. reports that when the "bulky, barnacle-encrusted cylinder" turned up in mid-July on the shores of Green Head, located north of Perth in Western Australia, whispers circulated that it could...

NASA Flags Area Where Retired Spacecraft Came Down

The RHESSI's time in space is done

(Newser) - NASA's retired Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) spacecraft fell back to Earth slightly ahead of schedule and, ostensibly, without incident. NASA said Thursday that the Department of Defense confirmed the RHESSI reentered Earth’s atmosphere over the Sahara Desert at 8:21pm Wednesday. Gizmodo reports, by...

Scientists: Trash Mess in Space Mirrors Problem in Oceans

Cleanup effort must start with a binding global treaty, experts say

(Newser) - There have been calls to action to clean up the trash in the world's oceans, and now researchers are warning of the urgency to do the same thing in space. The efforts are more similar than they might sound, Time reports. "As a marine biologist I never imagined...

For 2nd Time This Year, ISS Dodges Space Junk

Debris is from Russian missile test that was condemned as 'reckless'

(Newser) - Astronauts aboard the International Space Station conducted a "pre-determined debris avoidance maneuver" Monday night to steer clear of a piece of space junk. Per NPR , the station fired its thrusters for five minutes and five seconds, increasing its altitude by 0.2 miles to 0.8 miles (depending on...

'Alien Obelisk' Actually Fell From Space
'Alien Obelisk'
Actually Fell
From Space
in case you missed it

'Alien Obelisk' Actually Fell From Space

Piece likely jettisoned from SpaceX Dragon capsule fell in southern Australia last month

(Newser) - From a distance, Mick Miners thought the strange object on his expansive sheep farm in Australia might have been a blackened dead tree. Experts say it's actually something far more exciting: a 9-foot-long chunk of a SpaceX capsule—one of the few pieces of space debris to fall to...

Uncontrolled Chinese Rocket Comes Down in Indian Ocean

For the 3rd year in a row, Long March rocket body made uncontrolled reentry

(Newser) - Update: An uncontrolled Chinese rocket is back from space, after reentering the Earth's atmosphere over the Indian Ocean. US Space Command said it happened at 12:45pm EDT Saturday. The Chinese Manned Space Agency said most of the rocket debris burned up over the Sulu Sea, which is between...

Here's What It'll Look Like When Rocket Crashes Into Moon

Moon dust to fly hundreds of miles from impact crater, which is expected to be quite large

(Newser) - The moon is about to get walloped by 3 tons of space junk, a punch that will carve out a crater that could fit several semitractor-trailers. A leftover rocket will smash into the far side of the moon at 5,800mph on Friday, away from telescopes' prying eyes, the AP...

Space Force Says Out-of-Control Rocket Made Re-Entry

Russian space debris came down over Pacific

(Newser) - Update: An out-of-control Russian rocket stage that failed to stay in orbit has made it back to Earth, apparently without causing damage or injuries. The US Space Force's 18th Space Control Squadron, which tracks space debris, tweeted Wednesday that it had confirmed that the Persei booster from the Angara-A...

ISS Takes Unexpected Ride in 'Wake-Up Call for Mankind'

International Space Station was forced to drop 1K feet to avoid collision with space junk

(Newser) - Astronauts on the International Space Station took a 1,000-foot plunge on Friday after a piece of decades-old space junk threatened to collide with them. Dmitry Rogozin, who heads up Russia's Roscosmos space agency, says the unscheduled three-minute "evasion maneuver" was set in motion due to space debris,...

China's Rocket Debris Set for Uncontrolled Re-Entry

21-ton Long March rocket core will crash at an unknown location within days

(Newser) - Last week's launch of the Tianhe space station module was a great leap forward for China's space program—but the Long March 5B rocket used for the launch could cause some major problems back on Earth. The 21-ton core of the rocket is now orbiting Earth and slowly...

Space Station Rids Itself of 2.9 Tons of Trash

A pallet of used batteries will fall to Earth ... eventually

(Newser) - Last Thursday was apparently garbage day at the International Space Station, which rid itself of a 2.9-ton pallet of used nickel-hydrogen batteries. It's the biggest mass of space junk the ISS has unleashed, and NASA wrote that the pallet is "safely moving away from the station and...

On the Horizon: a Satellite Made of Wood?

Japan hopes project will cut down on space debris

(Newser) - When satellites burn up in the atmosphere, they don't entirely disappear. Tiny pieces of aluminium remain, contributing to an increasing mass of space junk. According to Daniel Oltrogge, director at the Center for Space Standards and Innovation, there are an estimated 760,000 objects larger than a centimeter (0....

NASA Expert: That Asteroid? I Don't Think It's an Asteroid

Paul Chodas looks closely at that thing headed our way

(Newser) - The jig may be up for an "asteroid" that's expected to get nabbed by Earth's gravity and become a mini moon next month, the AP reports. Instead of a cosmic rock, the newly discovered object appears to be an old rocket from a failed moon-landing mission 54...

SpaceX's Latest Launch Could Be a Big Deal

Elon Musk's company sends 60 satellites into orbit, and lots more will follow

(Newser) - SpaceX launched its heaviest load yet into space Thursday night—60 separate satellites weighing 500 pounds apiece, reports CNN . And if everything goes according to plan, Elon Musk's company will launch hundreds and perhaps thousands more such satellites, all part of an ambitious system called Starlink designed to beam...

Our Space Junk Problem Is Only Getting Worse

First mission is planned to reduce debris, but it could backfire

(Newser) - Decades' worth of man-made junk is cluttering up Earth's orbit, posing a threat to spaceflight and the satellites we rely on for weather reports, air travel, and global communications. More than 750,000 fragments larger than a centimeter are already thought to orbit Earth, and each one could badly...

Japan to Smack Space Junk With 2.3K-Foot Whip

If all goes well, a 6-mile tether could follow

(Newser) - Can a whip as long as six football fields destroy some of the 500,000 pieces of space junk spinning around Earth at 17,500 miles per hour? Japan's space agency sure hopes so. JAXA launched its Kounotori 6 spacecraft on Friday with tons of supplies bound for the...

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