Science: Fists in Space

For the Navy's radar scanners stationed at Dahlgren, Va., tracking a mouse is easy—if it is the right breed of mouse. Their latest achievement: spotting a speck of debris from the Transit II-A satellite, launched June 22, still floating 400 miles in space. The bits and pieces have been identified as a de-spin weight, about the size of two clenched fists, dangling at the end of an 8^½ft. braided cable a little thinner than a pencil. Hardly visible to the eye at 100 yds., its electrical properties make it easily spotted by radar at 400 miles.

...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!