U.S. And Russian Satellites Collide

#1
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.

Clickety Click

Initial analysis suggests that there wont be any long term issues but as this is only 12 hours old it's to early to tell for sure.

T C
 
#2
The_Cheat said:
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.

Clickety Click

Initial analysis suggests that there wont be any long term issues but as this is only 12 hours old it's to early to tell for sure.

T C
You fool - the satellites were distroyed by UFO's! It's just the prelude to all-out invasion! :D
 
#4
wet_blobby said:
So which one's practising before they take the Iranian satellite out, the Septics or the Ruskis?

Tinfoil hat time.
Probably the ruskies, unless that 'defunct' satellite wasn't as defunct as we are being told.
 
#5
Considering the amount of debris possibly created and all the expensive satellites they have up there I'd be surprised if they used a simple kinetic kill weapon or one with a regular warhead. Much easier to just use a semi-dumb staellite that manouvers next to the opposition's one, grabs ahold of it and then triggers the re-entry rockets to tip them both down out of orbit. But then I'm also a supporter of things like kinetic bombardment programs, mainly simply because they're cool. That and because my list of targets I'd like to hit with one seems to get longer and longer every week. ;)
 
#6
It was an obvious attack by the Russkies!
 
#8
So, let's get this right...?

As Douglas Adams put it "space is big, mind-boggling big..."

And an old Russian satellite just "happened" to bump into a complex in-service American communications satellite?

Yeah, right.

Tin-hat time, if only to protect me from the debris that will rain down on us for the next few days....

Litotes
 
#11
Dont the Americans have an agency (part of NASA?) that tracks all space debris and known satellites???

I reckon they wanted a new server upgrade and because theres now thousands of extra objects to track they'll probably get it.

Quick tanker foll of vodka to the Russkie Embassy and bobs your kamerad!
 
#13
Millions and millions of miles of space and they bump into each other - so who hit who ? how do they manage with the insurance claim ? Will it affect the NCB :)
 
#16
Virgil said:
It was an obvious attack by the Russkies!
There is another point of view

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20090303/120392490.html

Russian general says U.S. may have planned satellite collision

According to official reports, one of 66 satellites owned by Iridium, a U.S. telecoms company, and the Russian Cosmos-2251 satellite, launched in 1993 and believed to be defunct, collided on February 10 about 800 kilometers (500 miles) above Siberia.

However, Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Leonid Shershnev, a former head of Russia's military space intelligence, said in an interview published by the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper on Tuesday that the U.S. satellite involved in the collision was used by the U.S. military as part of the "dual-purpose" Orbital Express research project, which began in 2007.

Orbital Express was a space mission managed by the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and a team led by engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).

According to the DARPA, the program was "to validate the technical feasibility of robotic, autonomous on-orbit refueling and reconfiguration of satellites to support a broad range of future U.S. national security and commercial space programs."

Orbital Express was launched in March 2007 as part of the U.S. Air Force Space Test Program's STP-1 mission. It tested a prototype servicing satellite (ASTRO) and a surrogate next generation serviceable satellite (NextSat). The demonstration program met all the mission success criteria and was officially completed in July 2007.

Shershnev claims the U.S. military decided to continue with the project to "develop technology that would allow monitoring and inspections of orbital spacecraft by fully-automated satellites equipped with robotic devices."

The February collision could be an indication that the U.S. has successfully developed such technology and is capable of manipulating 'hostile satellites,' including their destruction, with a single command from a ground control center, the general said.
But why our American friends did not use one of defunct American satelites to destroy it? Because it would look as a test of anti-satellite weapons. But now it is presented as an rare exceptional accident.
 
#17
It's an interesting article.

Which nation uses the most satellites? I'd guess it was the US, so the chances of two of them colliding would be the highest. If anything, I would have said that two US satellites would have been less suspicious.

TC
 

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