NASA calls off space station's dodging of junk

September 27, 2012 by Marcia Dunn

(AP)—The International Space Station is safe from two pieces of menacing junk.

The U.S. space agency said Thursday the orbiting lab does not need to move out of the way of fragments from an Indian rocket and an old . The maneuver had been planned for Thursday morning but was called off.

Mission Control says there is a high degree of confidence neither object will come too close to the space station and its three occupants. The astronauts and controllers can turn their attention to Friday's undocking of a European . The departure was put off earlier this week because of a communication system error.

The space station's neighborhood 260 miles (418 kilometers) up is full of potentially damaging debris.

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not rated yet Sep 27, 2012
A few high-power solid state lasers would be useful. Ablating material off of the junk with 100 kW would produce enough thrust to de-orbit it.

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