It’s been busy several days on the International Space Station. The orbiting laboratory took the supply of a brand new cargo of cargo from Earth (launched last week via a SpaceX Falcon 9), and the crew is busy unpacking all the brand new tools and supplies they only acquired. Also, they despatched a Russian cargo ship packing, but it surely won’t indeed be returning to Earth.
Early this morning, the docking compartment on the Russian section of the ISS released the Progress 72 cargo spacecraft which had been hanging out for roughly four months. It despatched with a full complement of providers for the crew, and when it launched, it was quite literally full of trash.
Like several home or office, the International Space Station accumulates junk that’s not wanted by its residents. There’s no garbage choose-up in space, so the scientists onboard use docked cargo ships just like the Progress 72 spacecraft to hold their refuse.
There are lots of methods to get rid of the garbage right here on Earth, from recycling into new material, dumping it in a landfill (ew), or incinerating it. The cool factor concerning the ISS is that it has entry to one of many largest incinerators possible in the type of Earth’s atmosphere.
When spacecraft (or rocks, or satellites, or anything else) comes into contact with Earth’s atmosphere the extreme friction sparks intense flames, typically destroying no matter it’s that’s passing by. The Progress 72 spacecraft isn’t any completely different, and because the rocket is expendable, it serves as the perfect trash receptacle.