Astronauts empty the trash This photo taken from NASA TV shows a close up of a capsule loaded with 1.5 tons of trash released from the International Space Station on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. (NASA via AP)
Astronauts empty the trash
Lexile

The International Space Station just got a whole lot tidier.
 
A pair of NASA astronauts released a capsule loaded with 1.5 tons of trash as the space station soared over Bolivia. The capsule was expected to re-enter the atmosphere and burn up harmlessly over the Pacific on Feb. 20.
 
NASA supplier Orbital ATK launched the capsule to the space station in December. It was full of food, clothes and other goods. The astronauts removed the precious contents. Then they filled it with garbage and old equipment for incineration.
 
Commander Scott Kelly and Timothy Kopra, the Americans on board, sent computer commands to set the Cygnus free. The stunning 250-mile-high view showed the capsule slowly backing away. Its two circular solar wings looked like open umbrellas.
 
Kelly, who's less than two weeks from wrapping up an unprecedented yearlong mission for NASA, thanked everyone who worked on the Cygnus.
 
"It's been a pleasure," he noted.
 
"A beautiful release," replied Mission Control.
 
Virginia-based Orbital ATK plans to launch another Cygnus with more supplies from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in late March. The flight was delayed a few weeks. That was after black mold contaminated some of the cargo bags. Technicians had to disinfect everything.
 
SpaceX, meanwhile, another commercial cargo carrier for NASA, is aiming to make a delivery in the next few months. The company is working to get back on track following a launch accident last summer.
 
NASA has handed off space station shipments to private business so it can focus on getting astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit, namely to Mars. It hopes to do the same with space station crews next year. For now, U.S. astronauts are hitching rides with the Russians.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why doesn't dumping the trash create pollution?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (166)
  • alexism-148507-san
    2/25/2016 - 04:48 p.m.

    Dumping trash in space doesn't do pollution because they crush the trashIt doesn't effect animals in space because they don't live there.It doesn't effect our world because it's out of our world.It doesn't effect us from living.

  • calvinh-4-bar
    2/25/2016 - 06:23 p.m.

    Dumping the trash in space doesn't create pollution because the capsule the trash was in was built so as it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere it would burn up leaving not a single piece of trash behind.
    I think that the idea of having trash burn up in space is a big step forward in reducing the amount of waste on Earth, but having trash burn up in space seems like a very expensive solution if used more often.

  • heatherm-4-bar
    2/25/2016 - 07:38 p.m.

    I found this article very interesting because it states that the space station will be a lot tidier now that they have finally emptied out all of the trash. i chose this article because some things i dont clean for a while and others i have to get rid of.

  • nicholasl-2-bar
    2/25/2016 - 07:49 p.m.

    Dumping the trash doesn't create pollution because the garbage already burnt up while coming down into earth's atmosphere. In the article it says,"The capsule was expected to re-enter the atmosphere and burn up harmlessly." This means that since the trash burnt up, it is harmless.
    I liked this article because I once had the idea of taking all our trash up in space. I was surprised that the trash didn't cause any harm.

  • ellans-1-bar
    2/25/2016 - 07:51 p.m.

    Dumping trash doesn't create pollution, because before it hits Earth it burns up in the atmosphere. This article states that, "The capsule was expected to re-enter the atmosphere and burn up harmlessly over the Pacific on Feb. 20." This statement explains why dumping trash doesn't create pollution. I think this article is interesting, because it shows how people are coming up with ideas to create less trash and less pollution for the Earth.

    • bennyo-sch
      3/02/2016 - 01:59 p.m.

      (3)Nice work i agree with your statement about astronauts dumping the trash in space

  • jennaw-1-bar
    2/25/2016 - 08:00 p.m.

    In the article above we learned that the trash was dumped in space. You might wonder why it dosesnt create pollution, but this is because it burns away in the atmosphere. As the article says, "..Burns up harmlessly.." which proves my point.

    • joej-mcd
      3/14/2016 - 11:32 a.m.

      True but the matter is not completely gone. Matter can never be removed therefore the same amount in mass of garbage is still there.

  • sydneym-3-bar
    2/25/2016 - 08:14 p.m.

    Dumping the trash into space does not create pollution because as paragraph 2 said, the capsule with the trash is supposed to go back into the atmosphere and burn up harmlessly. Even if there were some remainders of trash, they would not harm anyone because it re-enters the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. I found this article interesting because putting trash into space is a creative way to get rid of trash.

  • simonak-3-bar
    2/25/2016 - 08:24 p.m.

    Dumping the trash does not create pollution because "the capsule was expected to re-enter the atmosphere and burn up harmlessly over the Pacific." This means that dumping the trash does not create pollution because the trash burned up harmlessly instead of creating pollution.

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