02-14-2009, 06:25 PM #1
Space Collision Called 'Catastrophic Event'
Space Collision Called 'Catastrophic Event'
MOSCOW (Feb. 13) - The crash of two satellites has generated an estimated tens of thousands of pieces of space junk that could circle Earth and threaten other satellites for the next 10,000 years, space experts said Friday. One expert called the collision "a catastrophic event" that he hoped would force President Barack Obama's administration to address the long-ignored issue of debris in space.
Russian Mission Control chief Vladimir Solovyov said Tuesday's smashup of a derelict Russian military satellite and a working U.S. Iridium commercial satellite occurred in the busiest part of near-Earth space — some 500 miles (800 kilometers) above Earth. "800 kilometers is a very popular orbit which is used by Earth-tracking and communications satellites," Solovyov told reporters Friday. "The clouds of debris pose a serious danger to them." Solovyov said debris from the collision could stay in orbit for up to 10,000 years and even tiny fragments threaten spacecraft because both travel at such a high orbiting speed.
James Oberg, a NASA veteran who is now space consultant, described the crash over northern Siberia as "catastrophic event." NASA said it was the first-ever high-speed impact between two intact spacecraft — with the Iridium craft weighing 1,235 pounds (560 kilograms) and the Russian craft nearly a ton.
02-14-2009, 09:11 PM #2
They used to track every single piece of space debris. I'm assuming this generated literally thousands of new pieces of space debris. High speed collisons are a phenomenom, which generate an emormous amount of energy. I wonder if they have a video of the event??
02-14-2009, 11:34 PM #3
02-15-2009, 08:11 AM #4
Why is Russia placing the problem on the US? THEY have debris out in space too...
“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr.
02-15-2009, 09:37 AM #5
A while back, a small paint flake hitting the shuttle did some scary damage to a window, during a mission. That alone can tell you that even the smallest of debris is a danger.
02-15-2009, 11:52 AM #6Registered User
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But do what? I doubt having space shuttles pluck debris piece by piece is feasible.
02-15-2009, 07:35 PM #7
02-15-2009, 07:55 PM #8
02-15-2009, 08:04 PM #9
02-15-2009, 08:15 PM #10Inactive
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I live 50 miles east of Austin. Today I saw a fireball come down, moving in a northerly direction around 11:00 AM. It was black, on fire, and left a smoke plume, so it was pretty close to us.
02-16-2009, 01:36 AM #11
Hey Claycat, I'm up at Fort Hood. I haven't heard anything up here yet. But when the Columbia broke up over Texas it was a few days before the ranchers out here found some of the debris.
Here is a clip, it's at the beginning of some news that show a debris falling over Austin. They think it's from the collision in the first article in this thread.
We did have debris from the Columbia but it wasn't in the media. Usually what happens here on a Federal Instillation isn't covered. I'm curious to see if the soldiers out at the range saw anything. I'll update if I hear anything.
OT: We are a bit out from the local communties, if we drive down the road we can see some awesome meteors at night, almost every night you can see something of interest."Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind." ~ Henry James
02-16-2009, 04:46 PM #12
The photo of the item featured with the fireball article doesn't appear to have survived a re-entry. Is anything being said about it?
Was it the decaying orbit of the military satellite that caused the initial crash? I've seen Iridium flares early in the morning here. It's pretty cool. Sorry we lost the satellite.
If collecting space debris can be done safely and creates another space industry I'm all for it!
02-17-2009, 05:26 AM #13
There is a good explanation over at Spaceweather... it was a natural meteor:
Astronomer Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office has reviewed the video and confirms "it's a natural meteor, definitely." According to his analysis, the source of the fireball was a meter-class asteroid traveling at about 20 km/s.
www.spaceweather.com Right now the article is on their front page, but once the page changes the only way to access the article is through their archive search. So if the article isn't there when you go to the site, you can view and read it by putting February 16, 2009 in the archive search, on the side of the webpage.
02-17-2009, 09:36 AM #14
")--The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday the fireball that streaked across the Central Texas sky Sunday, producing a series of window-rattling sonic booms, was a natural phenomenon and not debris from two satellites that collided in orbit last week.
Astronomer Preston Starr, the observatory manager at the University of North Texas, said he thinks the object was a carbonaceous meteor "about the size of a pickup truck."
He said it was a "slow mover" and probably has the consistency of concrete.
Starr said objects as large as the one spotted Sunday enter the atmosphere about eight or 10 times a year.
The Texas Meteorite Lab, which investigates such incidents worldwide, said, however, that it’s rare during daylight hours for a fireball to be visible.
The FAA Monday backed off its weekend claim that the fireball was caused by falling debris from colliding satellites plummeting into earth's atmosphere."
That was the link in one of our local news sites."Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind." ~ Henry James
02-19-2009, 01:18 AM #15
Hubble's life is back in jeopardy thanks to the growing debris field... in a week or 2 a decision will be made to go ahead, or not, with the service mission that the space telescope is greatly in need of...
This bites... and it ticks me off that NASA allows this kind of reporting to go out without a warning to a majority of the Hubble team. Hubble's main page does not carry this new development... and SM4's main page does not carry the development, as well. There is no fun in finding out through secondary online reports that your job and livelihood is in jeopardy... it's a helluva blow to the gut.
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