Orbiting satellites collide

I suppose this is going to happen, however given the size of space, even with the large number of satellites the probability must be small.
The debris however could be another matter and true hazard, tiny bullet size pieces orbiting at km/sec. Not good.

Orbiting satellites collide | Herald Sun: “TWO communications satellites have collided in the first-ever crash of two intact spacecraft in orbit.

The collision occurred yesterday about 800 kilometres over Siberia, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

The crash produced a pair of massive debris clouds, and the magnitude of the situation won’t be known for weeks at least, said NASA spokesman Kelly Humphries told AP.

However, any risk to the international space station, which orbits below the collision course, is thought to be low.

There also should be no danger to the upcoming space shuttle flight, targeted for liftoff no earlier than February 22, ‘but they’re continuing to analyse any possible risk’, Ms Humphries told AP.

The collision involved an Iridium commercial satellite, which was launched in 1997, and a Russian satellite launched in 1993 and believed to be nonfunctioning. Each satellite weighed well over 450kg.

There have been four other cases in which space objects have collided accidentally in orbit, NASA said.

But AP said those were considered minor events and involved parts of spent rockets or small satellites.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *