Space Junk Mission Trashed

SPACE JUNK IS PRETTY MUCH WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE: THOUSANDS OF PIECES OF DEBRIS FLOATING IN ORBIT AROUND EARTH. MOST OF THIS JUNK IS MAN-MADE – NONFUNCTIONAL SPACECRAFT AND ABANDONED SATELLITES, FOR INSTANCE.

RECENTLY, JAPAN AEROSPACE EXPLORATION AGENCY HAD A ONE-WEEK WINDOW FOR AN EXPERIMENTAL MISSION TARGETING THE DEBRIS ORBITING THE PLANET.
NASA BELIEVES THERE ARE MORE THAN 500-THOUSAND PIECES OF SO-CALLED SPACE JUNK IN ORBIT.

THESE ARE COMPUTER GENERATED IMAGES OF ORBITAL DEBRIS.

NASA SAYS THE FLOATING GARBAGE IS A POTENTIAL DANGER TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION... SPACE SHUTTLES AND OTHER SPACECRAFT CARRYING PEOPLE.  JAPAN'S SPACE AGENCY WAS WORKING ON A SORT OF ELECTRIC TETHER, TO SLOW DOWN THE DEBRIS AND EVENTUALLY BRING IT INTO EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE.  ONCE THERE, IT WOULD BURN UP BEFORE HITTING EARTH.

BUT RESEARCHERS SAID MONDAY THE MISSION HAS FAILED... AFTER THE TETHER WAS NOT RELEASED.

THANKFULLY, JAPAN ISN’T THE ONLY NATION WITH PLANS TO CLEAN UP THIS FLOATING GARBAGE HEAP: NASA IS LEADING AN INITIATIVE IN ADDRESSING THESE ORBITAL DEBRIS ISSUES.


Instructional Links


Website Article: Easy Science for Kids, All about Space Junk | Includes video.

Website Article: NASA, Space Debris and Human Spacecraft

Website Article: DOGOnews, Trash … in Space | Includes diagram, video and vocabulary game.

Website: Japan Aerospace Exploratory Agency

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