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NEWS UPDATE: Jetliner comes "uncomfortably close" to being hit by blazing objects hurtling through atmosphere

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 188752
United States
03/30/2007 01:44 AM
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NEWS UPDATE: Jetliner comes "uncomfortably close" to being hit by blazing objects hurtling through atmosphere
[link to hisz.rsoe.hu]

A Chilean jetliner flying to New Zealand came "uncomfortably close" to being hit by blazing objects hurtling through the atmosphere, New Zealand aviation officials said Thursday. New Zealand officials initially said Thursday that the Lan Chile plane may have narrowly missed being blasted by Russian space debris returning to Earth ahead of schedule, but Russian officials denied that and U.S. officials said it was most likely a close encounter with a disintegrating meteor. Later Thursday, after the Russian denials were reported, New Zealand officials appeared to back away from the space junk idea, saying it was up to an investigation to determine the source of the flaming objects spotted by the pilot. While it is not uncommon for debris to fall into the South Pacific, "it is very uncommon to have a plane in the middle of it," Airways New Zealand spokesman Ken Mitchell said. Mitchell, whose agency handles air traffic control in the region, initially told New Zealand's National Radio the flaming objects were likely space junk arriving 12 hours ahead of Russian projections.

But he later said that a meteor could not be ruled out. "An official investigation will determine exactly what the case is," he said "The object was reported to be uncomfortably close by the pilot of the aircraft and we've taken the matter very seriously," Mitchell said. "The pilot estimated the debris to be falling as close as five nautical miles (9.26 kilometres) to the aircraft." Russia's Federal Space Agency issued a statement saying that its cargo ship Progress M-58 had fallen back to Earth according to the timetable it had advised aviation officials about previously. It said fragments of Progress did not plunge into the South Pacific Ocean east of New Zealand until around 2330 GMT Tuesday about 12 hours after the fiery near-hit with the jet was reported. "Unless someone has their times wrong, there appears to be no correlation," Nicholas Johnson, orbital debris chief scientist for NASA's Johnson Space Center.

Johnson said there are no other reports from the U.S. Space Surveillance Network of other re-entering space junk at the time, so the flaming objects must have been fragments of a meteor. The pilot flying from Santiago, Chile, notified air traffic controllers at Auckland after spotting the flaming objects just five nautical miles (9.2 kilometers; 5.8 miles) in front of and behind his Airbus 340. "You're talking about 20 seconds and that's not a lot" of separation, World Airliner magazine editor Tony Dickson told National Radio Thursday. Bill Ailor, director of the Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies at the Aerospace Corporation of El Segundo, California, said about 50 meteoroids enter the Earth's atmosphere every day. Those that survive to hit the earth are called meteorites.)
Red Hot Chilean Pepe (nli)
User ID: 216394
Chile
03/30/2007 02:03 AM
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Re: NEWS UPDATE: Jetliner comes "uncomfortably close" to being hit by blazing objects hurtling through atmosphere
I bet nobody know that "the pet shop boys" were on that flight. I saw it in the local Chilean news, it caused a lot of fuss. The guys reported it in their Blog.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 188752
United States
03/30/2007 04:35 AM
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Re: NEWS UPDATE: Jetliner comes "uncomfortably close" to being hit by blazing objects hurtling through atmosphere
I guess no one cares about this but I'll give it one last bump.





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