SEP 22, 2015 9:13 AM PDT

Can We Laser Zap Space Junk?


Thanks to years of space engineering and discovery, astronauts blasting off to the International Space Station in space capsules can usually make the trip in about two hours. That's because scientists figured out exactly how fast the capsules would have to go and exactly when they would have to leave to line up correctly with the position of the ISS. Sounds easy, right? Not so much.

Recently, due to some orbiting space junk a little too close to the ISS, the station had to do a turbo burn and move out of position to reduce the risk of getting hit with a rather large piece of debris that could have done severe damage if it had impacted the station. Since the station had moved, the September 2nd launch of astronauts had to be recalculated. Instead of making the trip in 6 hours, the ride took two days. The three Russian astronauts made it to the station safely though, and future trips will likely be able to go the shorter route. Check out this video that explains more about it, and also has some information on an upcoming eclipse.
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  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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