US and Russian Satellites Collide!

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by Matt308, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    In an unprecedented space collision, a commercial Iridium communications satellite and a defunct Russian satellite ran into each other Tuesday above northern Siberia, creating a cloud of wreckage, officials said today. The international space station does not appear to be threatened by the debris, they said, but it's not yet clear whether it poses a risk to any other military or civilian satellites.

    "They collided at an altitude of 790 kilometers (491 miles) over northern Siberia Tuesday about noon Washington time," said Nicholas Johnson, NASA's chief scientist for orbital debris at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. "The U.S. space surveillance network detected a large number of debris from both objects."

    Air Force Brig. Gen. Michael Carey, deputy director of global operations with U.S. Strategic Command, the agency responsible for space surveillance, said initial radar tracking detected some 600 pieces of debris. He identified the Russian spacecraft as Cosmos 2251, a communications relay station launched in June 1993, and said the satellite is believed to have been non-operational for the past 10 years or so.

    "As of about 12 hours ago, I think the head count was up (to around) 600 pieces," Carey told CBS News late today. "It's going to take about two days before we get a solid picture of what the debris fields look like. But you, I think, can imply that the majority of that should be probably along the same line as the original orbits."

    He said U.S. STRATCOM routinely tracks about 18,000 objects in space, including satellites and debris, that are 3.9 inches across or larger. Tracking priority and "conjunction analysis" - identifying which objects may pose a threat to manned spacecraft - is the first priority.

    "It's going to take a while" to get an accurate count of the debris fragments, Johnson said. "It's very, very difficult to discriminate all those objects when they're really close together. And so, over the next couple of days, we'll have a much better understanding."

    Asked which satellite was at fault, Johnson said "they ran into each other. Nothing has the right of way up there. We don't have an air traffic controller in space. There is no universal way of knowing what's coming in your direction."

    U.S. And Russian Satellites Collide, Communications Satellite Hits Russian Satellite; International Space Station Deemed Safe - CBS News
     
  2. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    What arebthe odds ., I wonder if they got a photo of it happening
     
  3. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    You know dang well that NORAD/SpaceCom saw this coming. The last quote was absolute balderdash. :lol:
     
  4. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    A friend of mine's job in the CAF was working only on clear dark nights taking photos of Soviet satellites .
     
  5. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Am I the only person who thinks this is more than a coincidence? I always understood that live satellites are tracked to ensure that nothing is going to get in their way. A ten year old 'dead' satellite would have stood out unless it had a last ‘nudge’ left in it
     
  6. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    It is odd, because all satellites have ever so slightly orbital charachteristics and that makes an impact very unlikely. Even satellites with no fuel left in them drift from their stable controlled orbits due to solar, lunar and terrestial influences.
     
  7. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    I'm not gonna get all "conspiracy theory" on you guys, but I'm willing to bet that was no "defunct" Russian satellite, and that the Iridium satellite is well-insured and deemed "expendable"; what better way to take out a troublesome Russian satellite than with another "expendable" satellite?
     
  8. DBII

    DBII Active Member

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    Oops, sorry, I did not mean to run into your satellite. :oops:

    DBII
     
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