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Low Earth Orbit Game Of Chicken

Started by Recusant, January 29, 2020, 10:02:40 PM

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If these two satellites don't collide, I think it's just a matter of time until we do see such an incident again. At some point there may be money to be made (from space-faring nations perhaps) cleaning up the debris we've been busily shooting into orbit for over half a century.

"Two defunct satellites speed toward possible collision" | Space Daily

QuoteTwo decommissioned satellites sped towards each other Wednesday at a combined speed of almost 33,000 miles (53,000 kilometers) an hour, raising the risk of a collision that would send thousands of pieces of debris hurtling through space.

The satellites -- a pioneering international space telescope and an experimental US craft traveling in opposing orbits -- are expected to pass within 100 meters (yards) of each other at 2339 GMT, according to the space debris tracker LeoLabs.

Although the likeliest scenario is a near miss, experts are closely watching the rendezvous, which is set to occur about 900 kilometers (560 miles) above the US city of Pittsburgh.

Crashes involving large satellites at very high speeds (known as hypervelocity) are rare and dangerous, generating clouds of debris that endanger spacecraft around the planet.

The first time it happened was in 2009 when the active communication satellite Iridium 33 struck the decommissioned Russian satellite Cosmos 2251, resulting in a debris field of about 1000 large objects in low Earth orbit.

[Continues . . .]
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— H. L. Mencken


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QuoteThe Possible Collision Of IRAS And Another Satellite Over Pittsburgh Didn't Happen

Jan 29, 2020, 08:16pm (EST)

Glad to see this.  Being highly rural, no cell service, no copper landline, no fiber optic, our Hughes satellite connection is our only communications link to the outside world other than the four wheeler and sneakers.