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COULD AN ASTRONAUT THROW SOMETHING FROM SPACE TO EARTH?

Here is an interesting question; could an astronaut throw something from space to Earth? In theory, yes, but it is much more difficult than you might think, here's why.

First of all, we have to take into consideration if something like this has ever been done before, whether it was on purpose or by accident, and under what conditions will this hypothesis be considered a success?

To answer that question. Yes, in theory, something like this has been done before. Most space debris is purely by accident and nothing more, it's an extremely dangerous hazard that gets more and more dangerous the more is put out into space orbit around the Earth.

There have been cases in the past that a lost toolbox or part of satellite have been lost in space. What usually happens to them is they either orbit the Earth at thousands of kilometres an hour or it reaches the atmosphere and instantly burns up. Now, whether or not you consider the subject a success if it burns up in the atmosphere on the way down to Earth, it is still incredibly difficult to predict where the object might fall to.

For example, if you have an astronaut throw a baseball from orbit down to Earth, what would happen? Well, the biggest issue is that the astronaut is still travelling at quite a few kilometres per second and that alone makes the prediction as to where to ball would land incredibly inaccurate, but the biggest hurdle is still the objects burning up in the Earth's atmosphere due to the high amounts of friction at that speed.

Take a look at the video below by YouTube channel, Scott Manley, on Could An Astronaut Throw Something From Orbit To Earth?


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