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Space debris threatens the International Space Station, and walking abroad is postponed to the extreme

Space debris threatens the International Space Station, and walking abroad is postponed to the extreme

Extravehicular activities (EVAs), also known by the more popular definition of spacewalk, are becoming an increasingly risky process for astronauts on board. International Space Station, This is evidenced by the fact that only a few hours ago NASA Forced to postpone overseas maintenance intervention due to a potential safety issue related to space debris.

NASA astronauts Kayla Barron and Thomas Marshbourne were ready to don their spacesuits around 1.10 p.m., according to our time zone, to go out to replace the antenna. They were almost ready to get to the airlock when the flight controllers’ countercommand arrived.

It seems that the space agency, according to the brief statement issued a few hours ago, was not able to accurately assess the risk factor, and therefore wisely decided to prevent the operation. An exact date has not yet been set, but the antenna replacement was not so urgent that it could not be postponed.

We don’t know the nature of space debris, but the last episode two weeks ago in which Russia saw the protagonist couldn’t have come to mind, when she had an evil choice blew up an old satellite of its own as part of the ASAT anti-satellite test.

On that occasion, the explosion created about 1,500 debris of recognizable size and hundreds of thousands of hard-to-detect pieces, so much so that the alarm was set off by securing astronauts aboard the Crew Dragon and Soyuz spacecraft, currently moored at the International Space Station. It is increasingly clear that the problem of space debris must be addressed in a serious manner, and it must be resolved as soon as possible.

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The “Kessler Syndrome” scenario, theorized in 1978 by a NASA consultant of the same name, is becoming more realistic and what once seemed like an exaggeration is now clearer than ever. For those who aren’t familiar with it, Kessler syndrome isn’t a disease, but it does mark a kind of tipping point for orbital hustle of space debris, and basically says that there will come a day when the unwanted objects in orbit are so many that string collisions cause exponential growth, Which could make space exploration or simple use of satellites impossible for several years. The effects would be devastating and in this case all services based on satellite networks would cease to function.

Obviously, Kessler Syndrome certainly describes an apocalyptic scenario, but it is better to take it into account because, as the famous saying goes “Prevention is better than cure”.