Sunday, March 10, 2013

Space Debris Casualty

Debris from the 2007 Chinese anti-satellite test seems to have collided with a Russian satellite, knocking it off its axis and slowing its spin.  Fortunately, the satellite seems to remain substantially intact. and is small in any case, so the collision likely won't add much to the debris problem.

Of course, it could have been much worse.  A collision destroying a larger satellite would create more debris, possibly triggering a cascade of future collisions.  A collision with ISS could cost lives.  This incident is another reminder that the orbital debris problem must be addressed soon.

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