MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Space Shuttle collision. Artwork of a collision between a meteor and the Space Shuttle Atlantis. Such an impact would almost certainly be fatal for the crew. Meteors are asteroids (space rocks) that enter the Earth's atmosphere. Most burn up in the atmosphere due to a high speed of entry, forming the streaks seen here. There are numerous small dust particles in space, and shielding is required to protect the Shuttle from these. Larger objects, such as these meteors, are much rarer. This, and the sheer size of space, ensures that collisions of this sort are exceedingly rare.
Model release not required. Property release not required.