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Big Space Junk

An Early Ammonia Servicer (EAS) moves away from the International Space Station after it was jettisoned by astronaut Clay Anderson (out of frame), Expedition 15 flight engineer, during a session of extravehicular activity (EVA). The EAS was installed on the P6 truss during STS-105 in August 2001, as an ammonia reservoir if a leak had occurred. It was never used, and was no longer needed after the permanent cooling system was activated last December.
by Staff Writers
Huntsvill AL (SPX) Jul 24, 2008
Weight: 1400-lb. Size: Like a double-wide refrigerator. It is, in short, one big piece of space junk. The Early Ammonia Servicer (EAS) was thrown overboard from the International Space Station on July 23, 2007, almost one year ago.

At the time, the castaway was in a high orbit and barely visible from Earth's surface. Not anymore: Twelve months later, with its orbit decaying, the EAS has become easy to see.

"The EAS has noticeably brightened," reports veteran satellite observer Marco Langbroek of Leiden, the Netherlands.

"A year ago it was a difficult naked eye object at mag. +4 to +4.5, but on July 20, 2008, I easily observed it at mag. +2.5 to +2.0, moving very fast due to its low orbit: photo."

The EAS is expected to reenter Earth's atmosphere and disintegrate near the end of 2008 or early 2009. Until then, you can see it, growing brighter as it descends, with your own eyes.

Europeans are favored with flybys this week, North Americans next week.

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Swerve Left To Avoid That Satellite
Tel Aviv, Israel (SPX) Jul 11, 2008
Think you have trouble getting rid of the clutter in your living room? After more than 50 years of launching rockets and satellites into space, the human race now has to deal with the clutter left behind -- or is it "above"?

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