Re: Mir "trash" bags
Wed, 01 Nov 95 22:04:42 EST

     I don't know that the Russian Space Agency "admits" that trash is
thrown overboard when an EVA opportunity permits, but there isn't much
doubt that it happens.  Not ALL EVA-related debris is trash; some of the
debris is "nuts and bolts" type items (a hand crank for a winch was
inadvertently lost last year, for example).
     I'm not sure what color the trash bags are, but I suspect light
colors would be used so that they wouldn't melt in the sunlight as
quickly.  They needn't be particularly rugged whether they're packed into
a soon-to-be-deorbited Progress or let go during an EVA.
     As for visibility, they probably would be visible in large binoculars
or a small telescope if you happened to be looking in the right spot.  The
high drag rate tends to put a premium on current TLEs.
     There are probably others on the seesat-l list with more information
on the particulars of these objects and the history of the exosphere as
Dispose-All.  There are also observers with direct experience observing
these objects.
     More later.

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Mir "trash" bags
Author: ("Krosney, Bill") at Internet-Mail
Date:    10/30/95 12:48 PM

I've noted the following comment you posted to the Seesat mailing list:
          I don't know what these most recent debris objects from Mir are,
     but there is a history of debris associated with almost every Mir EVA. 
      Many of the debris objects, particularly those with very high drag 
     coefficients appear to be trash bags (I guess it's too difficult to 
     load up the Progress tankers with the trash before they are 
     deorbited), but none of the recent objects have the traditional 
     signature of trash bags.
I'm curious, about these "trash bags".  Of course, you say "trash bags" and 
my thoughts envision your typical Glad plastic green garbage bags.  Any idea 
of what exactly is the trash bag and how common is this dumping?  Is this 
simply a quick and dirty way to incinerate the trash?  Do the Soviets 
readily admit to this?