For Want of Duct Tape
The latest Progress cargo carrier was ejected from the International Space Station today, for later deorbit and disposal in the coming days. This comes on the heels of last week's disposal of the EAS ammonia tank and camera mount via hand toss. The news of that week was that the ammonia tank and camera mount are going to stay in orbit for something like five to seven years prior to their uncontrolled re-entry. This is a problem in that some of the parts of the tank are expected to make it down to the surface of the earth and as such constitute a bit of a hazard. The juxtaposition of that story and todays news of the Progress ejection got me to thinking -- if only the guys up there had duct-taped the tank and camera mount to the Progress rocket and de-orbitted the Progress and extra bits together, they would've been able to kill two birds with one stone. At the very least, having a few rolls of space-rated duct tape around the ISS seems like a good idea in general.