Friday, March 13, 2009

Emergency forces space station crew into escape pod

The International Space Station crew scurried aboard "their lifeboat" Wednesday when a disaster loomed. (NY Times) The evil villain? A five-inch chunk of "an old rocket motor." That's it! Did anyone else think the Space Station was built to withstand a shot from (at least) a 10-foot asteroid? Pound360 is amazed the station hasn't been obliterated yet. However, crews have "prepared to enter the Soyuz five times since the station’s construction began in 1998."

Things have gotten pretty exciting in low earth orbit during the last year. There were
two near-disasters for Soyuz capsules re-entering the atmosphere last summer. In February, the first serious collision occurred between two massive satellites. And just a few weeks back, an asteroid passed within 50,000 miles (the moon is 230,000 miles away).

(Image of Space Shuttle Challenger waiting on the launch pad earlier this week by

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.