Space debris, often called space junk, is a growing hazard in low-earth orbit. This week’s 6th European Conference on Space Debris is currently being held in Darmstadt, Germany to allow members of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the concerned public to address the problem of space junk leftover from the approximately 4,900 launches that have occurred from the beginning of the Space Age in the late 1950s through 2012.
The ESA said that the bulk of the space junk comes from two sources — 240 explosions in orbiting craft and “fewer than 10 known collisions” between two or more orbiting craft. They said that both American and European estimates agree that there are over 23,000 objects larger than 5 to 10 centimeters spinning around the earth at speeds of around 25,000 kilometers per hour.
Whew. That’s a lot of hazardous debris floating around.
One space technology company, Astrium, is proposing a specialized harpoon that can catch the estimated 6,000 tons of dangerous debris and remove it from low-earth orbit.
Astrium engineer Jaime Reed told CNN that the full proposal will be unveiled on Wednesday. In essence, though, the plan involves a so-called chase satellite that will deploy a tiny barbed harpoon to catch nuisance pieces of space junk so that they can be towed back toward the atmosphere. Small pieces of junk can then be dropped to burn up harmlessly as they fall through the air — similar to the way that small bits of space dust streak through the sky as meteors as they burn up before hitting the earth.
US Silent on Psychologists Role in CIA’s Tortures: Doctors 2014-12-20 21:53
Physicians for Human Rights had not received any response from the US Federal Commission to their call to investigate the role of health professionals in CIA’s torture program, Deputy Director of the organization told Sputnik.
December 19 (Sputnik) — US government has not responded to calls to prosecute doctors, who participated in CIA torture program, the Deputy Director of Communications for ...
Former Chief Security Officer for NewsCorp: N. Koreans Not Behind Sony Hack, Interview Leak 2014-12-20 2:17
Hemanshu Nigam, a former federal prosecutor and former chief security officer for NewsCorp/Fox studios, says North Korea isn’t behind the Sony Hack.
Nigam gave several bullet points for why the hack was likely an inside job.
Attack code borrowed from a previous attack on Seoul, that’s why it’s in Korean. Private hackers typically borrow malicious code from other hackers.Nations state attacks follow ...
Sony Fires Back at Obama: Actually We Did Call the White House – Several Times 2014-12-20 2:13 Sony fired back at Obama after the press conference saying they had several conversations with the Obama White House before and after the movie was canceled.
Via The Hollywood Reporter:
After President Obama criticized Sony for its decision to cancel The Interview's release after theater chains decided not to show the film, the studio has issued a statement elaborating on the move.
The Bankster International 2014-12-20 1:55 Geopolitical analysis, the art of explaining power relationships through the prism of impersonal geography, can be a helpful tool for observers of the Great Game – but it also has its limitations. A case in point is the renewed US-Russia confrontation. Think tanks and policy insiders easily sell the narrative that from the dark days of the Cold War to ...