Japan Is Creating a Militarized Program To Deal With Space Junk

Last week, the world was transfixed by the story of a gecko sex satellite that Russia lost contact with after it was knocked by some space debris. Apparently, it was the wake up call we needed as a species: Japan has announced the creation of a program aimed at monitoring space debris, a military-based project that… » 8/04/14 11:04am 8/04/14 11:04am

Australia's Using Pop Radio to Track Space Junk

Space junk is a serious problem: it threatens satellites and spacecraft, and can plummet unpredictably to earth. Australia's Murchison Widefield Array is a high-sensitivity radio telescope that tracks space debris as small as 1 meter across, by observing how the objects reflect FM signals from Australian radio… » 11/30/13 6:00pm 11/30/13 6:00pm

How NASA's Fermi Telescope Sidestepped a Gigantic Space Crash

There's all kinds of asteroids and other debris cruising through space, but a lot of the really dangerous stuff is stuff we put there ourselves. NASA's cosmic bubble-spotting Fermi telescope almost had an intergalactic fender bender, but not with some epoch-old rock floating through the cosmos. No, it almost got… » 5/02/13 11:16am 5/02/13 11:16am

Japanese Space Agency Caught Piece Of Space Junk *This Big*

The problem of space junk is being dealt with in a novel way by Japanese space agency JAXA, which plans to rope up loads of the broken old stuff from the 1960s in an old-fashioned, analogue, traditional net several kilometres wide. The triple-layered metal thread net will then be burned up in the atmosphere once full,… » 2/08/11 4:00am 2/08/11 4:00am

The Most Beautiful Way to Clean-Up Space Junk

Space junk is everything from spent rocket upper-stages that measure meters across, to lost bags of tools let go by careless astronauts, to shattered Chinese satellites to flecks of paint moving at 25 times the speed of sound. Under the wrong circumstances any piece of junk could kill a perfectly good satellite or… » 8/03/10 8:00pm 8/03/10 8:00pm

NASA Nearly Bombs Australia With 1400lb Ammonia Tank

Jettisoned over a year ago and expected to reenter » 11/05/08 7:39am 11/05/08 7:39am the Earth's atmosphere on its own time somewhere in the beginning of November, one of the ISS's retired coolant tanks has careened through the Earth's atmosphere in the skies off the coast of Australia. Two lucky things happened here: the reentry took place — and…

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's... the ISS Flushing the Toilet!

You might want to stay inside today, folks, because there's some space junk the size of a Buick set to reenter Earth's atmosphere and land, well, somewhere » 11/02/08 12:00pm 11/02/08 12:00pm later today. After the spectacular disintegration of the earlier this year, this is the second time our earthbound space agencies have purposefully burned…