Space junk damages International Space Station’s robot arm

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    • #427576
      eridani
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      • Total Posts: 8,950

      https://www.theregister.com/2021/06/01/iss_canadarm2_space_junk_collision/

      The Canadarm2 is a multi-jointed titanium robotic arm used to move objects like cargo shuttles outside the ISS, and to perform station maintenance. It has been attached to the ISS since April 2001. Canadarm2 will continue with its duties, which include a planned operation to hoist Dextre, another Canadian remote manipulator, into position so it can replace a faulty power switchbox.

      A strike to the ISS by space debris seems unlucky but almost inevitable as astroboffins currently track over 23,000 pieces of low Earth orbit junk that is softball sized or larger. However, the offending item that hit the robotic arm was too small to be tracked. US military commanders have recently called for a framework for a rules-based order in space, and did so after the uncontrolled descent and Indian Ocean crash of a Chinese Long March 5B booster stage in May 2021.

      Jack Wright Nelson, a space law researcher from the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law told The Register:

      The hole in Canadarm2 is minuscule compared to the hole in the international legal regime concerning space debris. n Nelson further explained that treaties complicate efforts to clean up outer space. He added: “This is because space objects, and their components remain under the jurisdiction and control of their State of Registry. So to remove a dead satellite – or any part of it – from orbit, you need to find this State and get their permission. Depending on the State and the purpose of the satellite, this permission may not be forthcoming.”

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #427649
      Mindwalker
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      • Total Posts: 306

      … of a giant dick speeding through space.

    • #427742
      soryang
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      • Total Posts: 1,256

      “I’m in charge here.”

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