Friday, February 13, 2009

Satellites Collide

Crash of US, Russian satellites a threat in space

AP — U.S. and Russian officials traded shots Thursday over who was to blame for a huge satellite collision this week that spewed speeding clouds of debris into space, threatening other unmanned spacecraft in nearby orbits.
The smashup 500 miles (800 kilometers) over Siberia on Tuesday involved a derelict Russian spacecraft designed for military communications and a working satellite owned by U.S.-based Iridium, which served commercial customers as well as the U.S. Department of Defense.
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How Much Is Too Much Space Junk?

TIME How Much Is Too Much Space Junk? By Jeffrey Kluger Friday, Feb. 13, 2009 A computer-generated image of objects in Earth's orbit A computer-generated image of objects in Earth's orbit NASA * Print * Email * Share o Digg o Facebook o Yahoo! Buzz o Add to Mixx! Mixx o Permalink * Reprints * Related * * If you've ever walked through a swarm of gnats at a picnic, you have some idea of what it's like to navigate the mass of debris that circles our planet in low-Earth orbit. Space planners have long warned that the growing belt of cosmic junk would eventually lead to collisions, and on Tuesday it happened, when an American satellite and a defunct Russian satellite totaled each other 500 miles above Siberia. This has sparked new worries that space is simply becoming too dangerous a place to travel. Things aren't nearly that severe yet — but they're getting worse all the time.
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Satellite collision not to 'delay' space program

CHINA daily The wreckage of US and Russian satellites that collided over Siberia poses a threat to China's satellites in orbit, but the country's space plan will proceed as scheduled.
A privately owned US communications spacecraft collided with a defunct Russian military satellite about 800 km above northern Siberia at 4:55 pm GMT on Tuesday, according to the US Strategic Command, which made it public on Wednesday.
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