Happy Flag Day:
There are 19,000 pieces of debris larger than a softball orbiting the Earth. They travel at about 17,000 miles per hour, fast enough for a relatively small piece of junk to destroy a satellite or even the space shuttle.
There are 300,000 pieces of debris the size of a marble or larger, according to Paul Graziani, chief executive of Analytical Graphics, Exton, Pa., a maker of software for the space and defense industries.
There are 3,000 “payloads” in space – sensors, transponders and other equipment used by the communications industry, the military, scientists and others, Graziani said. And 1,400 times each week, a payload comes within three miles of a piece of debris that could damage or kill it.
Check out the full gallery of finalists here.
Boy Hit By Meteorite Travelling At 30,000mph: Gerrit Blank was on his way to school when he saw a massive fireball heading straight towards him from the sky.
The white-hot meteorite bounced off the schoolboy’s hand and hit the ground so hard it left a foot-long crater in the tarmac – as well as a three-inch scar on his hand.
Gerrit, 14, said: “At first I just saw a large ball of light and then I suddenly felt a pain in my hand.
“Then, a split second after that, there was an enormous bang like a crash of thunder.”
More Space Links:
US space shuttle launch delayed over hydrogen leak
Endeavour will now launch on Wednesday at the earliest.
Tight squeeze ahead on space station
There will be 13 astronauts aboard the ISS/Shuttle when Endeavour arrives, the most ever.
NASA’s Ares I-X Rocket Achieves Historic Hardware Milestones
The pogo stick progresses.
Commissioning Hubble – Preparing For Science Observations
Checking and calibrating instruments for the next 15 weeks.