Big chunk of space junk misses space station

Sep 04, 2009 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer
An image taken from NASA video shows a spacewalker Christer Fuglesang holding an old amonia tank outside the International Space Station during a spacewalk of the STS-128 mission Thursday, Sept. 3, 2009. (AP Photo/NASA TV)

(AP) -- A big piece of space junk safely sped by the international space station and shuttle Discovery, missing by less than a mile.

The astronauts were still asleep Friday when the old rocket part, measuring 15 feet around, passed by. NASA had been monitoring the situation and decided that it was unlikely to be a problem, so controllers did not move the station-shuttle complex.

Astronauts went ahead with a Thursday night to install a new fully loaded tank of space station coolant.

The near-miss was at 11:07 a.m. EDT. NASA officials said the closest it was to the astronauts was about 4,200 feet - about 14 football fields.

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On the Net:

: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/main/index.html

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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User comments : 3

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jsa09
not rated yet Sep 05, 2009
looks like we should start measuring everything in football fields - forget metric we will have the new measure of footballia.

Just wish I new how big a football field was - the footballia is no help to me at all.
adam_shegrud
not rated yet Sep 05, 2009
looks like we should start measuring everything in football fields - forget metric we will have the new measure of footballia.



Just wish I new how big a football field was - the footballia is no help to me at all.



smartass!

:)
earls
not rated yet Sep 07, 2009
How long until the first space junk death? Is that when we start doing something about it?

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