Shuttle flight to Hubble faces higher debris risk

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Next month's shuttle flight to the Hubble Space Telescope faces an increased risk from orbiting debris.

The shuttle Atlantis will be flying in a higher altitude where there's more space junk. Managers at NASA's highest levels will need to sign off on the mission because of the higher risk.

New numbers put the odds of a catastrophic strike by a micrometeorite at about 1-in-185. Shuttle program director John Shannon said Monday that compares to 1-in-300 odds for a shuttle flight to the international space station.

Hubble is at a considerably higher and dirtier orbit than the space station -- 350 miles versus just over 200 miles. Seven astronauts will be aboard the spaceship. It is now scheduled for launch on Oct. 10.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 27996439 -