While most people were worried about their morning coffee, astronauts aboard the International Space Station were forced to take cover and retreat to escape capsules after a cloud of “dangerous space junk” threatened the orbital station on Monday. NASA has yet to confirm the cause of the debris field, but the State Department is already blasting Russia as the prime suspect.
According to experts, the space junk sprung up after Russia tested a new anti-satellite missile on one of its own satellites, which is noticeably missing now, and near the scene of the debris. Plus it was pretty freaking huge. Via The Daily Beast:
Kosmos-1408 had an orbit above the ISS, and the missile strike that destroyed the satellite could conceivably produce a debris cloud that could fall in altitude and eventually threaten the ISS. Harvard University astronomer Jonathan McDowell tweeted on Monday that Kosmos-1408 was a “plausible candidate” for the debris cloud, and added that given the massive size of the satellite, he would expect “thousands of pieces of cataloged debris” to emerge from its destruction.
After the debris cloud incident forced astronauts to temporarily take cover, the International Space Station reportedly moved its position to avoid another potential collision. However, The Daily Beast reports that experts have raised concerns that continued military action in space could produce even more dangerous space junk that might never go away, even if it thinks about space baseball.
(Via The Daily Beast)