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Two big communications satellites collided in the first-ever crash of two intact spacecraft in orbit, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds

 
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User ID: 429261
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02/11/2009 07:49 PM
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Two big communications satellites collided in the first-ever crash of two intact spacecraft in orbit, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. Two big communications satellites collided in the first-ever crash of two intact spacecraft in orbit, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds and posing a slight risk to the international space station.

NASA said it will take weeks to determine the full magnitude of the crash, which occurred nearly 500 miles over Siberia on Tuesday.

"We knew this was going to happen eventually," said Mark Matney, an orbital debris scientist at Johnson Space Center in Houston.pick

NASA believes any risk to the space station and its three astronauts should be low. It orbits about 270 miles below the collision course. There also should be no danger to the space shuttle set to launch with seven astronauts on Feb. 22, officials said, but that will be re-evaluated in the coming days.

The collision involved an Iridium commercial satellite, which was launched in 1997, and a Russian satellite launched in 1993 and believed to be nonfunctioning. The Russian satellite was out of control, Matney said.

The Iridium craft weighed 1,235 pounds, and the Russian craft nearly a ton.

No one has any idea yet how many pieces were generated or how big they might be.

"Right now, they're definitely counting dozens," Matney said. "I would suspect that they'll be counting hundreds when the counting is done."

As for pieces the size of micrometers, the count will likely be in the thousands, he added.

There have been four other cases in which space objects have collided accidentally in orbit, NASA said. But those were considered minor and involved parts of spent rockets or small satellites.

As of Wednesday, there were 9,831 pieces of manmade debris not counting anything from Tuesday's collision orbiting Earth. The items, at least 4 inches in size, are being tracked by the U.S. Space Surveillance Network, which is operated by the military. The network detected the two debris clouds created Tuesday.

Litter in orbit has increased in recent years, in part because of the deliberate breakups of old satellites. It's gotten so bad that orbital debris is now the biggest threat to a space shuttle in flight, surpassing the dangers of liftoff and return to Earth. NASA is in regular touch with the Space Surveillance Network, to keep the space station a safe distance from any encroaching objects, and shuttles, too, when they're flying.

"The collisions are going to be becoming more and more important in the coming decades," Matney said.

Iridium Holdings LLC has a system of 65 active satellites which relay calls from portable phones that are about twice the size of a regular mobile phone. It has more than 300,000 subscribers. The U.S. Department of Defense is one of its largest customers.

The company has spare satellites, and it is unclear whether the collision caused an outage. An Iridium spokeswoman had no immediate comment.

Initially launched by Motorola Inc. in the 1990s, Iridium plunged into bankruptcy in 1999. Private investors relaunched service in 2001.

Iridium satellites are unusual because their orbit is so low and they move so fast. Most communications satellites are in much higher orbits and don't move relative to each other, which means collisions are rare.

Iridium Holdings LLC, is owned by New York-based investment firm Greenhill & Co. through a subsidiary, GHL Acquisition Corp., which is listed on the American Stock Exchange. The shares closed Wednesday down 3 cents at $9.28.

[link to www.foxnews.com]
Anonymous Coward
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02/11/2009 07:53 PM
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Re: Two big communications satellites collided in the first-ever crash of two intact spacecraft in orbit, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds
WOW!

WAS ONE OF THE SATELLITES CALLED OMID?

bump
suspicious (OP)
User ID: 429261
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02/11/2009 08:29 PM
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Re: Two big communications satellites collided in the first-ever crash of two intact spacecraft in orbit, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds
I think the Russians did it on purpose!
xc
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02/11/2009 08:34 PM
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Re: Two big communications satellites collided in the first-ever crash of two intact spacecraft in orbit, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds
I think the Russians did it on purpose!
 Quoting: suspicious 429261

c'mon it was bound to happen with all the junk out there...
Hmmm (OP)
User ID: 429261
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02/11/2009 08:39 PM
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Re: Two big communications satellites collided in the first-ever crash of two intact spacecraft in orbit, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds
I think the Russians did it on purpose!

c'mon it was bound to happen with all the junk out there...
 Quoting: xc 610941


The Russians "claim" their satellite was defunct but I suspect it was still under control. hmm
Anonymous Coward
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02/11/2009 08:42 PM
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Re: Two big communications satellites collided in the first-ever crash of two intact spacecraft in orbit, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds
No wonder the ETs don't want us to leave the earth. We've thoroughly trashed our own planet and now we're busy spreading garbage in the space around it.
Rev. Stargazer

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02/11/2009 08:47 PM
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Re: Two big communications satellites collided in the first-ever crash of two intact spacecraft in orbit, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds
Thread: Breaking News - Satellites collide in orbit

and by the way OP - it 'began' a long time ago. You are only now starting to hear about it. Not all the fireball sightings have been meteors....
"Imagination is more important than knowledge" - Albert Einstein

revstargazer (at) hotmail.com
Anonymous Coward
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02/11/2009 08:49 PM
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Re: Two big communications satellites collided in the first-ever crash of two intact spacecraft in orbit, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds
This story remind me a scene from Wall-E movie... tounge
xc
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02/11/2009 08:50 PM
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Re: Two big communications satellites collided in the first-ever crash of two intact spacecraft in orbit, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds
No wonder the ETs don't want us to leave the earth. We've thoroughly trashed our own planet and now we're busy spreading garbage in the space around it.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 612926

laugh

This is so thruth.

We trashed the farm land the countryside the cities the mountains the oceans and even outer space.

laugh

And people are wondering why they don't make contact with us...

alien11
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02/11/2009 08:52 PM
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Re: Two big communications satellites collided in the first-ever crash of two intact spacecraft in orbit, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds
This would be a non-story if not for the fact that people are unaware that there have been space-based weapons for years.
SALVAGE 1
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02/11/2009 08:57 PM
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Re: Two big communications satellites collided in the first-ever crash of two intact spacecraft in orbit, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds
Just send some junkman up there with a big net to collect all this stuff--he makes money and the world governments have a safe place to fly their ships:

Anonymous Coward
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02/11/2009 08:59 PM
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Re: Two big communications satellites collided in the first-ever crash of two intact spacecraft in orbit, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds
Knock out communications and the sheeple will never know what happened to them when the shit hits the fan.
Whee! 8D (Quebec)

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02/11/2009 09:34 PM
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Re: Two big communications satellites collided in the first-ever crash of two intact spacecraft in orbit, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds
This story remind me a scene from Wall-E movie... tounge
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 613057


Yeah!! Me too! xD


Wall-EEEE! <3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3
The world woud be a thousand times better place if more cults existed.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 673558
Rev. Stargazer

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02/11/2009 09:39 PM
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Re: Two big communications satellites collided in the first-ever crash of two intact spacecraft in orbit, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds
If this was the Russian satellite in question - then it's NOT very funny...

[link to cagematch.dvorak.org]
"Imagination is more important than knowledge" - Albert Einstein

revstargazer (at) hotmail.com
Anonymous Coward
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03/01/2023 12:34 PM
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Re: Two big communications satellites collided in the first-ever crash of two intact spacecraft in orbit, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds
Riding a horse to Taco Bell to grab a few dozen Cinnamon Twists, a Beefy Nacho Griller, some Nacho Fries, a Hard Taco, and a Beefy 5-Layer Burrito. A Large Strawberry Shake to slide it all down.

What's GLP hungry for, folks?

GMMAS-now





GLP