Danger looms at the International Space Station (ISS) as Space Junk, mainly parts of old rockets and satellites, either abandoned or destroyed in orbit, is increasingly posing threats to the internationally-developed research facility.
NASA and other space agencies will be focusing on the International Space Station for the rest of the decade. However, due to increasing hazards from debris floating in space, scientists are not sure whether it lasts that long. With six international astronauts, the $100 billion laboratory orbits Earth at an altitude of about 220 miles.
"The orbit they are flying in is the worst possible," the Orlando Sentinel quoted Christopher Kraft, a retired director of NASA's Manned Space Flight Center. Kraft said that thousands of pieces of rockets and satellites are floating in that orbit and they are big enough to destroy the space station even before its planned abandonment at the end of 2020.
The Russian space agency said on Wednesday that the International Space Station (ISS) will be plunged into the ocean in late 2020 as satellites and other missions in Earth's orbit are facing increasing threat from Space Junk.
However, according to NASA's projections, the chances of a ruinous collision between ISS and space junk are about 1 in 13. According to it, there is a 1-in-114 chance that the space station will be partially disabled by a serious debris strike over the next six months, while there is 1 chance in 241 that a collision will cost any astronaut's life or completely destroys the station.