In the space, and orbiting the Earth, there is a big quantity of meteorites. The biggest and the most voluminous of them are situated either, in the asteroids belt, or further from the solar system, in the Oort cloud, where there are thousands of millions of asteroids of big and small size. However, there are also some meteorites that have a very small size, and that are called micrometeorite.
These meteorites of a very small size (some millimetres of diameter), are suspended in the space, or orbiting some celestial body, as it could be the Earth. Even if they can seem inoffensive, the micrometeorites can cause many damages to the satellites that orbit the Earth, and to the astronauts that go to extravehicular activities.
Where can the micrometeorites affect?
The humans, as I said, have putted in orbit many satellites, each of them designed for a different task. But whatever it is its function, all satellites must be prepared to resist the impact of a micrometeorite, as it can arrive to have a speed of some kilometres per second. For this reason, the satellites must be designed to support these impacts. Even if a single micrometeorite don’t do a considerable damage, an exposition to these meteorites at long scale would degrade device, and would end with its destruction.
It is also the case of the spacial missions. In the moment of constructing the space suits, we have to prepare the space suits so they can resist the regular impacts of micrometeorites.. If a micrometeorite made a hole in the space suit, it would end with the life of the astronaut for different reasons. Between them, he would not support the pressure, and its organs would start to boil and to inflate themselves.
In the case of the spacial stations, they have to be able to resist these impacts better than, as they are in orbit around the Earth during many time, and if a hole was made, the astronauts that there would be inside, they would all die, because, as they are inside the station without wearing the space suit, they would die due to the sudden pressure change.
Where have to be taken the most measures against the micrometeorites?
- 1 – The place that has to be the most protected against these meteorites are the spacial stations. In the spatial stations, there are astronauts that live there for months, and if a micrometeorite perforated a wall, all the astronauts in the station would die. Apart, the construction costs many money, for which, if it broke, it would cost many money and efforts to reconstruct it.
- 2 – In the space suits that the astronauts wear, measures have also to be taken. As in the case of the spacial station, a hole in the suit would provoke the death of the astronaut that there would be inside.
- 3 – Finally, where the least important is to take measures is in the case of the artificial satellites that we place in orbit. Even if it is important to put protection in the satellites, it isn’t as important as in the other cases, as there aren’t lives at stake. Anyway, . It is the case of the spacial telescopes, as they are very important, and for this reason they have to be more protected than the other satellites.