Sunday, 25 September 2011


UAR Satellite
thinking about coming home
A NASA satellite has fallen to earth.  No one is quite sure where it fell, but FB is sure it is not in his back garden.  The satellite weighed 6 tonnes and while most of it is likely to have burnt up on re-entry, the boffins thought at 500kg might survive.  That seems quite a lot - although the same boffins provide the comfort that it will be in 25 pieces the largest of which might be 130kg.   But NASA warns that if you come across anything that looks like a bit of a satellite don't touch it - it remains the property of the US Government.

You might think that such a fall to earth is a rare event but FB understands that on average there is the uncontrolled return of at least one piece of space debris every day; and on average, one intact defunct spacecraft or old rocket body will come back into the atmosphere every week.  So perhaps that batting helmet put away for the winter might be kept handy after all. 
launching another
Pakistani space probe

There are over 2700 satellites in orbit up there, perhaps 10% of them still functioning.  But there is also a whole lot of other debris bits of rockets and space craft and other litter.  There are probably a whole lot of cigarette ends too from astronauts who had a quick fag while on their spacewalk.   A pretty depressing thought that we are managing successfully to clutter up outer space as well as our own planet.  FB is unsure how many of these objects are cricket balls sent into space by six hitting batters. Pakistan did manage to launch its first satellite in 1990, although FB has been unable to substantiate whether they used Shahid Afridi as the launch vehicle.

But FB thinks that the satellite maybe the object that has most impact on the development of cricket.  No satellite, no 24 hour TV beamed from every part of the globe, no Sky, no multi channel sports packages - no time to fill with sport sport and sport.  Global TV exposure of cricket would be limited - there would be far less Test cricket, there might even be no T20 and IPL - perish the thought.  Maybe all the satellites should return to earth and give us peace.  Just so long as they don't fall in FB's back garden.

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