Space Station Crew Now Basically Just Playing a Real-Life Game of Asteroids

Sent into a panic about space junk for the second time in as many weeks, the International Space Station has been forced to reposition to dodge a four-inch chunk of Chinese rocket.

Just before the Discovery docked, the ISS crew was forced to crawl into the Soyuz TMA-13 in anticipation of a possible junk impact. That threat passed, but just days later and with the crew of the Discovery present, another piece of space junk has threatened to punch a hole in NASA's equipment and/or humans.

It bears repeating that this maneuver came in anticipation of possible junk impact. That is to say the survival of the crew of the ISS depended on our ability to detect the position and velocity of a four-inch piece of metal (or, as I suspect, a frozen, smiling Spacebat), which, by my calculations, makes the ISS about 5% less fun. Lasers are sounding more reasonable by the day. [Daily Mail]