Sunday, May 5, 2013

Crowded Orbit: Space junk nearly brings down NASA telescope

NASA had to adjust the orbit of The Fermi Telescope to avoid the Soviet Cosmos 1805 1.5-ton satellite piece of junk that would have otherwise collided.

Source Russia Today News

“These are objects of several tons each, as wide as a small airplane, traveling 20 times faster than a bullet. The Fermi mission would be over,” the statement on NASA’s official website quotes engineer Eric Stoneking, who controls Fermi’s orientation in the sky.

On March 29, 2012. Primary calculations showed that the two space objects would miss each other by just more than 200 meters. But later it became clear that their orbits would cross through the same point in space within 30 milliseconds of one another. 

Since the launch of the first satellite in 1957, space junk has been a growing threat to all spacecraft, as occasional collisions occur. NASA tracks 17,000 objects larger than 10cm across in orbit above the Earth daily. Only 10 per cent of those tracked objects are actually active satellites.

Austhorization for Use of Military Force: a blank check for war without end

Source: The Guardian

It is time to send the 2001 Athorization for Use of Military Force into the sunset, and to return the checks and balances that policy-makers put in place: the executive and legislative branches must deliberate before waging war. We are making enemies through a feckless, dangerous approach, and it is time to return some censure to our defense apparatus. Otherwise, the AUMF will continue to make us hemorrhage – both blood and, especially, treasure.