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ISS Space

Space Junk Forced Astronauts Into ISS Escape Capsules 87

According to a story from CNN, "A piece of a debris from a Russian Cosmos satellite passed close enough to the International Space Station on Saturday that its crew was ordered into escape capsules as a precaution, NASA said. The six crew members were told to take shelter late Friday in their Soyuz capsules after it was determined there was a small possibility the debris could hit the station, the U.S. space agency said in a statement." This isn't the first time it's happened, either. The escape capsules (actually, they're Soyuz spacecraft) must be nice to have on hand, but I'd hate to have to test their efficacy.
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Space Junk Forced Astronauts Into ISS Escape Capsules

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  • Test the efficacy? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Brett Buck ( 811747 ) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @11:13PM (#39464023)

    You are kidding right? They ARE going to test their efficacy, that's how they get back down.

  • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Saturday March 24, 2012 @11:33PM (#39464093)

    Indeed. You'd think a slashdot editor would be up on his ISS knowledge! :) The escape capsules are definitely tested and found efficacious every few months or so when the crew is rotated. In fact they cannot stay at the space station for more than 6 months or so. That was the whole reason they were thinking of abandoning the station back when Soyuz was grounded last year. That and the fact they didn't want to land the soyuz escape capsules in the dead of winter.

  • by pecosdave ( 536896 ) * on Sunday March 25, 2012 @02:24AM (#39464543) Homepage Journal

    We actually have custom built Think Pads that are soldered to/the equivalent to IPC Level 3 cert, they aren't off the shelf even though they're quite similar to off the shelf ones - more like "extra carefully manufactured" versions. For training in the simulators they have IPC Level 2 cert laptops (basically off the shelf versions) with stickers on them that say they are only for training and not for orbital use.

    What's really interesting is our custom built printers, they look a lot like off the shelf models but with a unique color variant and twist lock USB cables that are built to the same standard as the rest of the hermetically sealed round connectors on the station. Even though I haven't really messed with the printers too much (I'm usually ops side but recently cross trained over at the simulation facility) I'm sure there's something in there to make sure the ink droplets don't float off. I recently had to make a bunch of custom VGA cables that used the same connectors for the simulator.

    Sit back, think of the basics of how most everything works in the computer industry, then replace nearly every cable with a round hermetically sealed twist lock version then you've got an idea of how the station operates. (thankfully not Ethernet cables)

  • by NalosLayor ( 958307 ) on Sunday March 25, 2012 @06:04AM (#39464923)
    Yeah, they swap them out. People fly up and back on the ones they came on, and leave them parked for the duration of their stay, more or less. It's kinda like calling your parked car an "escape car".

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