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How does the space station survive the damages caused by debris in space?

  1. Jun 26, 2010 #1
    How does the space station, its solar panels and the satellites in space survive the potential damages caused by the different size of debris in space?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 26, 2010 #2


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    For small stuff - it's made of metal
    For larger stuff - it wouldn't

    Space is rather large, so the chance of you and a bit of space debris being in the same place at the same time is rather small.
    This is helped by the fact that most stuff is going in roughly the same direction, east-west near the equator, at the same speed.
    And at the low orbits of the ISS and the space shuttle small things don't stay in orbit very long without being deliberately boosted.
  4. Jun 26, 2010 #3

    D H

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    Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris (MMOD) Protection
    http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/ISSRG/pdfs/mmod.pdf [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. Jun 26, 2010 #4


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    Even a fleck of paint in the wrong place can cause damage.


    NASA frequently replaces space shuttle orbiter windows because they are significantly damaged by objects as small as a flake of paint.

    This 4-mm-diameter crater on the windshield of the space shuttle orbiter (see image above) was made by a small bit of space debris determined to be a fleck of white paint approximately 0.2 mm in diameter. It was traveling at a relative velocity of 3-6 km/sec when it impacted.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  6. Jul 11, 2010 #5
    Well that's silly, why are they still using windows? LOL
  7. Jul 11, 2010 #6


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    What would be the point of having a crew if they couldn't look out at the view?
  8. Jul 13, 2010 #7
    Yeah, that's what camera's are for... maybe an observation vehicle that has shades?

    It's not like people aren't used to life through a box anyway.
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