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RE: Space Junk
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It's home to everything from gloves to tool kits, spatulas to disused rockets, urine bags to relic Cold War satellites.
Space is quickly becoming a floating scrap heap, with more than 14,000 pieces of space junk larger than 10cm currently being tracked orbiting the Earth.

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Ariane 5 SYLDA
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The orbiting space junk safely passed by the  international space station.
The space junk, an Ariane 5 SYLDA, was launched on the 11th August, 2006, from French Guiana on the JCSAT 10 and SYRACUSE 3B mission.

TLE Data
ARIANE 5 SYLDA
1 29274U 06033C 09246.81766978 .00000713 00000-0 37794-3 0 7924
2 29274 006.0875 352.2007 7086301 072.8384 348.7272 02.50483969 26960

Period:            574.88     
Inclination:      6.09 
Apogee:          32758
Perigee:          291
Size:               19.5

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Orbiting junk expected to pass near space station
A piece of orbiting junk was expected to pass near the international space station Friday, but NASA said it would stay a safe distance away from the station and docked shuttle.
The old rocket part was expected to pass within two miles of the shuttle-station complex late Friday morning, considered a safe distance by NASA specialists.


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Approaching 'Space Junk' No Threat to Spacewalk
NASA officials say astronauts are still on schedule to conduct a spacewalk Thursday at the International Space Station despite the threat of an approaching piece of "space junk."
The "space junk" is part of the body of a three-year-old European rocket and is 19 square meters in size.


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Q: On the anniversary of the Apollo Moon landings, my eight-year-old son asked what happens to the old satellites and other debris in space. Will they eventually fall to Earth?

Your son has put his finger on what is becoming quite an environmental problem. First, tell him not to worry: he doesnt have to go round with a hard hat on for fear of a wayward satellite flattening him. Most space debris, if it falls back to Earth, burns up as it re-enters the atmosphere.

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A worldwide network of radar stations could tackle the ever-growing problem of space debris - the remains of old rockets and satellites that pose an increasing threat to spacecraft.
The US government is launching a competition, which will run until the end of 2010, to find the best way of tracking pieces of junk down to the size of a pool ball.

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Shiny new Space Fence to monitor orbiting junk, satellites
The new Space Fence system will provide better accuracy and faster detection while allowing us to increase the number of satellites and other space objects that can be detected and tracked, thus avoiding collision and damage to other satellites,

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Trackers of Orbiting Junk Sound Warning
Space is a mess.
There are 19,000 pieces of debris larger than a softball orbiting the Earth. They travel at about 17,000 miles per hour, fast enough for a relatively small piece of junk to destroy a satellite or even the space shuttle.

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Remember "Lost in Space," the 1960s TV show about the extraterrestrial adventures of the Robinson family and their faithful robot? Well, today those three words describe thousands of satellites, space probes and pieces of junk floating above the old blue marble. U.S. Strategic Command, headed by Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton, is responsible for keeping track of all that stuff. It's a big job - and a top priority of the US Defence Department.

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International experts are meeting in Montreal this week to deal with the growing problem of space debris, but the research of a Sackville astrophysicist shows other dangers are hurtling through the final frontier.
Human-made space waste, the by-product of old satellites and shuttle launches, has become an increasingly significant threat to both astronauts and satellites. The development of the International Space Station and growth of space programs in countries around the world has created more garbage flying through space at dangerously high speeds.


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