Thursday, February 12, 2009


posted by The Vidiot @ 7:34 AM Permalink

When I first read that two satellites had collided over Siberia, I initially thought that perhaps we'll see some pieces coming down and making a mess down here. But there's something else to consider: what if the pieces stay up there and make a mess up there? What if those chunks bounce around up there and knock other satellites out of their orbit causing them to crash into other satellites... and so on and so forth? And what if one of those satellites that gets smashed is one of those super secret ones with the nuclear warheads? Huh? Huh? Has anyone thought about that?

Great. Something else to make me hyperventilate.

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At 6:05 PM, Blogger The Sailor said...

I hadn't seen this, thanks for catching it.

When I saw it was a 500 mile orbit I immediately understood the consequences. This is one of the dirty secrets of sat tech, a collision like this can eventually wipe out whole orbits and endanger anything passing thru (above) the orbit.

Space Command does track dead satellites of this size and I'm concerned that they/Iridium didn't see it coming.

All of Iridium sats could eventually be damaged and as you noted it will just increase the FOD for everyone.

I've had a fear for years that some rogue state will deliberately launch a rocket that contaminates a LEO so pervasively that we no longer have the option of exploring space.

OTOH, maybe it's a good thing that we can't infect the rest of the solar system/galaxy. Homo sapiens appear to me more and more like a virus that infects the Earth. And we've done such a wonderful job of protecting our home planet.


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