[amsat-bb] Re: Scratch two sats

Bruce Bostwick lihan161051 at sbcglobal.net
Thu Feb 12 07:03:23 PST 2009

I often wonder about this.  Are the debris clouds in orbits with low  
enough perigees that drag will bring down at least the smaller bits  
over a period of time, or are these HEO orbits where this debris will  
be there for the next few thousand years?  Just curious ..

On Feb 11, 2009, at 6:22 PM, Andrew Glasbrenner wrote:

> http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090211/ap_on_sc/satellite_collision
> Iridium versus a Russian satellite, I wonder who'll get the ticket.
> 73, Drew
> 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.
> NASA believes any risk to the space station and its three astronauts  
> is 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.
> [...]

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