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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Russian - US Satellites Collide

A pair of Russian and US satellites collided some 780 km (485 miles) above Siberia on Tuesday leaving a trail of debris. The Russian civilian space agency, Roscosmos, confirmed the collision of the defunct 950kg (2,094lb) satellite, which was said to have launched in 1993. "Spokesman Aleksandr Vorobyev was quoted as saying the satellite had "in all likelihood... belonged in the past to the military", and was therefore not the responsibility of Roscosmos." according to this BBC report. NASA is tracking hundreds of pieces of debris from the incident and says there is little chance of incident between this debris and the International Space Station or Shuttle flights. The ISS is in orbit 435 km below the debris and has the capability to maneuver away from space junk if necessary, it has done so on 8 occassions in it's 60,000 previous orbits.