The feature story of the above issue of POPULAR SCIENCE speculated on what the high altitude probe rocket might discover at altitudes greater than 50 miles above Earth. On page 67 of the issue the author states, "A few of the rockets may be destroyed by shattering collisions with meteors in the rarefied upper air. From 75,000,000 to 10,000,000,000 meteors are believed to enter the earth's atmosphere daily, at speeds as great as 180,000 miles an hour. Most of them are eliminated by friction in the atmosphere before they strike the earth, but a rocket penetrating to great heights runs the rick of encountering one still massive enough to be destructive."
If the above thinking was correct, shuttle astronauts would be in very great danger. NASA launched a payload known as the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) to measure the presence of space refuse and other materials over an extended period of time. The findings of LDEF proved the above comment to be wholly inaccurate.