A bizarre story from NASA. A space shuttle on average has a 1-300 chance to experience a “catastrophic” collision with space junk.
New number-crunching puts the odds of a catastrophic strike by orbital debris including bits of space junk at about 1-in-185 during Atlantis’ upcoming mission to Hubble. That compares to 1-in-300 odds for a shuttle flight to the international space station, shuttle program director John Shannon said Monday.
Can you imagine doing “anything” where the odds of death are 1-185 chances of dying? Well, anything other than riding in a space shuttle.
Overall, NASA puts the odds of a catastrophic loss of a space shuttle during a mission at about 1-in-80. Shannon noted that history has shown the odds to be about 1-in-60.
Challenger was destroyed during liftoff in 1986; it was the 25th shuttle flight. Columbia shattered during re-entry in 2003; it was the 113th shuttle flight.