[amsat-bb] Re: Satellite hit by debris from weapon test
wa4sca at gmail.com
Mon Mar 11 13:46:08 PDT 2013
Dashboard cameras. OK, you asked a serious question, but I couldn't resist.
The real answer is that it comes down to an array of radars, and lots of
computing power at Space Command, or other similar agencies. Ordinary
launches are fairly obvious, as are the "dropped" gloves, tool kits,
washers, etc from the ISS or other such operations. They track these, and
can predict close approaches very accurately. We get close approach
warnings periodically for AMSAT spacecraft.
In this case, it was the remains of a weapons test. That is a lot messier.
All the debris radiates outward from the initial impact/explosion, and there
are often large numbers of them. The source can be identified since the
debris can be projected/calculated backward in time to the initial point.
After that, it is just a matter of continuous updates over the years.
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