Re: Small meteoroid causes ʽbullet holeʼ in ISS solar panel

From: George Roberts (
Date: Tue Apr 30 2013 - 19:36:32 UTC

Ah - so you are saying that there may be 40 tons per day of meteors hitting 
the atmosphere, but most of that is only closer than geosync for a few hours 
so the exposure to satellites is lower.

Whereas most of the >40 tons of space debris from humans are in long lasting 
orbits (years, decades, longer) and so even though very little hits the 
earth on a given day, there is more of it passing near satellites on a daily 

This makes sense to me.  In addition, like I said before, most of the 40 
tons of meteors is probably small enough not to damage the ISS (like sand). 
Getting hit with a grain of sand at 10 miles per second is probably similar 
to getting hit by a bullet from a typical gun - one can make bullet proof 
walls easily.  But getting hit by a bullet size rock at 10 miles per second 
(30X faster than from a typical gun?) would penetrate the ISS.

- George Roberts

-----Original Message----- 
From: Jim Scotti
Sent: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 3:24 PM
To: Björn Gimle
Cc: SeeSat
Subject: Re: Small meteoroid causes ʽbullet holeʼ in ISS solar panel

There are a lot more than 40 tons of manmade satellites and small debris 
manmade satellites in low Earth orbit and it stays within the volume of 
that ISS travels through while the 40 tones of meteor debris zips through 
space at 15-30 kilometers per seconds on its way to the atmosphere.  Most
satellite impacts are from that man-made debris.  Anyone got any LDEF 
summaries handy - one of it's goals was to sample its exposure to the 
space debris, both natural and manmade.


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