Galactic Junk and Catstranauts

So I heard that outer space needs a clean-up. There’s too much junk floating around up there. Really big stuff too, like discarded rocket parts, old satellites, and abandoned space stations. Apparently all this space junk collides and causes it to fragmentate – a phenomenon known scientifically as the Kesseler Syndrome. Sounds to me like they just smack into each other and bust into a gazillion pieces.

Some Italian scientist has come up with a space debris collector. This collector roams outer space calling to debris. When it hooks up with the debris, it plasters some type of propellant kit on to it that hurls it into the earth’s atmosphere, where it burns up before hitting the earth (let’s hope so anyway). I‘m sure it costs millions of dollars to build and considering that it only hurls about 5 or 6 large pieces of junk toward the earth per year, it hardly seems worth the price.

They have other space inventions in the works – giant magnets that capture space debris and so forth. It seems there are 17,000 pieces of junk 10cm (3+ inches) or larger floating around, with tons more smaller pieces, and all wrecking havoc on the important stuff that floats along with it.

What really amazed me was when I heard that the space station has to move out of the way from time to time, to keep from being hit by this trash. Now that got me thinking. There must really be a lot of stuff out there. I mean think about it. Space is big! It would be like dropping a penny into the ocean in CA and then running into it in New Zealand.

It just goes to show that no matter how big the world or the universe is, it’s those blasted little things that really mess you up.

 

Another interesting space story has to do with catstranauts…or space cats, if you prefer.

The first cat that was to go into space was a French cat named Felix. Felix was a street cat and new his way around unknown places. He seemed like the purrfect fit…Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for him and a female cat named Félicette went up instead. Here are their stories:

 space-cat

Patrick Roberts in Famous Felines

http://www.purr-n-fur.org.uk/famous/felix.html
Copyright © 2003-11 Purr ‘n’ Fur UK

“In 1963 the French government had numerous cats undergoing intensive training for possible space flight, with fairly arduous tasks involving a compression chamber and a centrifuge. But they don’t seem to have suffered too much; ten of the would-be astronauts were ‘decommissioned’ for eating too much!

Félix was one of those retained, and the one chosen to undertake the first mission. He was apparently a Paris street cat, although one report says he was bought by the French government from a dealer. However, it seems that Félix managed to escape, and was replaced at the last minute by a female cat, Félicette, so it was she who, on the prescribed date of 18 October 1963, was blasted off in a special capsule on top of a French Véronique AG1 rocket, from the Colomb Bacar rocket base at Hammaguir in the Algerian Sahara desert.

She did not go into orbit, but in a flight lasting altogether less than 15 minutes travelled some 100 miles into space, where the capsule separated from the rocket and descended by parachute. Throughout the flight electrodes implanted in her brain transmitted neurological impulses back to Earth, and the French Centre d’Enseignement et de Recherches de Médecine Aéronautique (CERMA), which directed these flights, stated afterwards that the cat had made a valuable contribution to research. The capsule and Félicette were safely recovered, but what happened to her after her adventure I do not know.”

Never under estimate a cat’s prowess. Many a one has a tale to tell, but being the humble creatures that they are, they rarely tout their accomplishments. Why bother…

 

The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light might be darkened, and a third of the day might be kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night.Revelation 8:12

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