Hubble in trouble after satellite crash

Neowin reported that two satellites had smashed into each other in space and the results are now coming into the light. The space telescope Hubble may be in trouble because of the debris left behind from the collision.

"Clearly debris from the event is going through the altitude that the Hubble flies, so we're going to be looking at what is the new risk to Hubble," said Nicholas Johnson the chief scientist at the Orbital Debris Office at NASA's Johnson.

Over one thousand pieces of debris are now orbiting the Earth that can present many problems not only for Hubble. The pieces are flying at about 17,500 MPH and at that speed even the smallest of pieces can damage other space objects.

The biggest concern is that Hubble has no evasive options. There are no onboard rockets to alter the flight path of Hubble and even the smallest imperfection to the mirrors will have significant impact on the telescope.

There is a scheduled mission to Hubble in May for a final service call to the telescope. The risk assessment will have to be addressed to see if the debris will pose any threat to the space shuttle or astronauts during the space flight.

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MOSCOW (AP) -- The chief of Russia's Mission Control says clouds of debris from the collision between U.S. and Russian communications satellites will circle Earth for thousands of years and threaten numerous satellites.

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Wow, is this FUD.

"Checking to see if this random miniscule debris field has the slightest, remotest possibility to affect other objects in orbit around our HUGE planet" has been transformed into "hubble in trouble! OMG!"

What a load of sensationalist, random, baseless CRAP!

Oh dear, a fundie posting in a science thread. Let's please not turn this into a rabid religious debate.

"Space exploration? That's witchcraft! Science is the tool of the devil!"

The bottom line is they have no clue what they are doing.

Yes of course. Those two rovers that have been running around on Mars long past their planned lifetime like the Energizer bunny or the fact that human beings actually walked on the moon proves that. They're completely clueless. Two satellites, one foreign and abandoned, accidentally hit each other for the first time in history. I don't think we should cancel the space program just yet.

Ah, don't you just love it when fundies present an assumption as a conclusion and then expect you to just ignore the mountain of evidence that doesn't agree with their assumption?

There's no point arguing with them anyways: They're insane. The more you try and use logic and facts the more disturbed and irrational they become. They don't know what logic is, they don't know how it works, and so it will scare them very much if you use logic to prove that their cult is a sham. Just smile and nod, say nothing committal, and at the first opportunity get as far away as you can before they invite you over for bible study.

...And that's just as bad with the only difference being that you're coming from the other side. How about next time responding like TRC and not just being all "OMG RELIGI0N IS FOR TEH DUMB"?

I remember a few years ago a reporter asked one of the NASA talking heads about the possibility of a satellites crashing into one another and they said, "remotely unlikely" because the brainiacs have all the satellites in specific orbital paths. We'll since the fender bender has happened going into space takes on a whole different meaning. Avoiding space junk flying at 17,5k mph even the smallest pieces could rip through the hull of the shuttle or other spacecraft from SG1 or Atlantis. I guess if I had the resources I'd start up a new business going up into orbit and picking up trash. Who would of thought picking up trash could be such a lucrative job.

cropcircles said,
I remember a few years ago a reporter asked one of the NASA talking heads about the possibility of a satellites crashing into one another and they said, "remotely unlikely

They were right. The odds of this happening were extremely small.

I wonder if they know if the ISS will have any problems. I know yesterday they were talking about it. The hubble sits in a lower orbit, while the ISS is in higher orbit, I don't think they'll have a problem. Sucks about the hubble though.

I love the Hubble, too bad their plans to replace it are for several rather than one telescope, and in only certain wavelenghs (i.e. no visual).

Let's get a space elevator under construction at Hubble's height, we can repair missions as tests!

I don't think there's much they can other than putting it in Lagrange 2 orbit, but that would put it in the path of the soon to be deployed Herschel observatory.

The_Decryptor said,
Then we shall put it at Lagrange point 3! :science:

Let's face it, the Hubble's screwed they're not going to send a manned mission to move it out further, and frankly with the James Web and Herschel going up soon, i say let it crash and hopefully the event will be on You tube :P

How long has the Hubble satellite been around for? Looks like it was well built for surviving this long out in space.

jjrambo said,
Wonder if they are going to replace it with new one.

They are. However it is much less powerful and doesn't have even close to the spectrum range of viewing. Thats why keeping hubble running is important right now.

Why they can't replace it with the same capabilities or even more?
If they could do 20 years ago, what would be a problem now?