Re: Windshield damage

Jim Varney (
Mon, 07 Oct 1996 13:20:54 -0700

>>Date: Sat, 05 Oct 1996 08:43:04 -0700
>>From: Jim Varney <>
>>To: seesat-l
>>Subject: Columbia Delayed: Debris Damage
>>Press release from NASA. Though they don't say directly, the
>>windshield damage is due to orbital debris.

To which Bruno Tilgner replied:

>Not necessarily. Micrometeorites are an even more probable cause. Several of
>Mir's windows had to be replaced more than once because of gradual abrasion.

Not according to the Meteoroid and Orbital Debris Working Group at NASA:

"The average impact speed of debris on a spacecraft is 10 km/s, only half 
that of meteoroids, but the population of debris in the typical earth 
orbits is much higher than that of meteoroids, making debris the greater 
hazard for most spacecraft."


 -- Jim

Jim Varney       | 121^ 23' 54" W,  38^ 27' 28" N   |           Sacramento, CA
Member, SeeSat-L |           Elev. 31 ft.           |                         
Member, Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society      |