If you’ve ever watched the Gravity film or the Kessler effect, you’ve probably been aware that the debris of small spaces for other objects in Earth’s orbit can be a huge problem. It’s hugely crowded there, highlighted in September last year when the International Space Station (ISS) forced its thruster to get out of the way to avoid debris anywhere.
But what does it really take to bring down the ISS? Scientists at Reddit are trying to solve the problem; they can’t answer after someone’s child asks a question.
“Will the Cheeto Puff, which has been spinning in two direct collisions, destroy the International Space Station?” Reddit user funisallmynames asked the names in the space community, creating a big debate on the subject. “My 7yo daughter asked me, and I have no idea I probably said I did.” Luckily there are currently no cheetahs, covers, or raffles flying through space (which we know), so space snacks are quite predictable until some careless astronauts get off a plane while eating a large bag of Flamin’Hot Lemon Crunch. Still, guessing situations are fun.
Many Redditors believed that Cheeto would do enough damage to the ISS in terms of the energy involved.
ZekromNLR wrote, “It won’t be destroyed, but depending on where and how fast it hits, it could punch a plate-shaped hole in the station hall.” “It will be a serious emergency, but if the hit module is disconnected, or everyone enters the Suez or Dragon, I would expect all the personnel on the ISS who were not directly hit by the cheetah cone and the hull debris coming from impact to come point (which is probably It will hurt you badly if you hit it (to make it alive.”
Isolated modules are a topic that has come up in real life like when there was a leak in ISS in August last year. The astronauts crowded into the Russian section of the space station, while NASA tried to detect the leak, which was eventually found by floating tea leaves. A small leak like this seems dramatic, but in no case did the inhabitants of the ISS suspect the kind of danger posed by the cheetah.
“I got 150kg of jolts effect energy from the weight of the cheetah weighing 3g. I believe that 30g would be equal to 1/6 of a stick of TNT or dynamite,” Volvo Reservation Mbar5 wrote. “Not sure if the station will be destroyed, but it seems quite risky to me!”
However, it is based on the fact that the object is some indestructible solid instead of an unreal corn puff. Some suggested that the Cheeto would freeze, but others said that the temperature outside the ISS was actually between 121 degrees Celsius (250 degrees Fahrenheit) when it passed through daylight and -157 degrees Celsius (-250 degrees Fahrenheit) when it’s in Earth’s shade.
“Even at speeds of up to 15 km / s, I would expect the Cheeto Puffy to evaporate on contact with the ISS,” wrote Letter_13, who claims to be an astronaut. “Depending on where it hit it could leave a hole, although it probably leaves some orange spots (if it does)”. The Redditor, which appeared as a view of the price, explained that the low density of the cheetah meant it would be crushed, taking a lot of energy out of impact, as the front and rear work of a car is designed to do.
Giving Cheeto more reason not to be afraid, since the corner snack contains a lot of oil, it can probably explode the space vacuum and significantly reduce its mass and density. Letter_13 concluded, “It’s very possible that while affecting the Cheeto ISS, it could very well be just a Cheeto -puff-sized corn and a cloud of cheese particles, as the oil swell, can create enough momentum to break it into puffs apart before impact.”