Thursday, February 22, 2007

A distant battlefield...

Those wacky Russians had a rocket problem about a year ago. A missile and satellite ended up in a bad orbit and a couple of days ago, suddenly decided to blow itself up. (We think).

This made for some spectacular photos for Aussie astronomers and a reminder that there are more than few things whizzing over our heads today. Also reminder for the world to duck as some 1000+ fragments start arriving.

All the satellites/junk in orbit today.

Meanwhile last month the Chinese tested an anti-satellite weapon with apparently successful results. Although to be fair, from some photos it looks like it would be hard to miss everything especially when debris keeps zooming out more or less for ever.
But China's Jan. 11 test of a primitive anti-satellite weapon against an aging weather satellite boosted the population of trackable debris by more than 900 objects--an instantaneous 10% increase in the 50-year figure--that threaten all spacecraft flying below about 2,000 km. (1,243 mi.).

Still as we mutter about our GPS signal when we are planting, we need to remember it was spending ridiculous amounts on the space program that got us here. And defending and advancing that technology might become just as important as defending dirt.

There are worse investments for public dollars, I believe.

Such as: me.

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