Two Space Objects Are on Track for a Possible Collision, Experts Say

Katie Ramirez
October 17, 2020

Meanwhile, Moriba Jah, an astrodynamicist at the University of Texas at Austin who has always been trying to raise public awareness about the abundance of junk in Earth's orbit at constant risk of colliding, said the ordeal was only the latest piece of evidence that the world needs an internationally collaborative effort to track space traffic.

So, in case you're unaware, there are a whole load of man-made objects floating about in orbit of our planet that simply have no use anymore.

Like, thousand of miles per hour fast. Such an incident almost happened last night.

While it would have had no effect on us down here, it did have the astronomers wondering and worrying for a while.

As a result of the objects are positioned excessive above the bottom, they don't pose a threat to anybody on earth.

It's usually pretty expensive kit if it ends up being up there.

With more and more satellites being launched, there is growing concern about the potential for collisions.

But LeoLabs also said on Wednesday that the estimated error distance for objects could be only 12 meters, as it is impossible to account for factors affecting the flight path and the chances of collision could change dramatically. "CZ-4C R/B passed over LeoLabs Kiwi Space Radar 10 minutes after TCA".

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The last collision, in 2009, saw a dead Russian military satellite ram into an active communications satellite operated by US-based telecommunications firm Iridium. [Kosmos 2004] It was launched in 1989 and is a Chinese rocket platform.

That's a collision that you're gonna know about. (2,800 kilograms) and they'll be barreling toward each other at a relatively velocity of 32,900 miles per hour (52,950 km/h).

If there was a collision, the amount of space debris in low Earth orbit would go up substantially, he said. "To continue benefiting from the science, technology and data that operating in space brings, it is vital that we achieve better compliance with existing space debris mitigation guidelines in spacecraft design and operations".

Ceperley said progress on global agreements to tackle space junk had been slow, but he praised the New Zealand Space Agency, a division of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

NASA explains: "Most "space junk" is moving very fast and can reach speeds of 18,000 miles per hour, nearly seven times faster than a bullet".

Auckland University physics professor Richard Easther told Stuff that the collision would leave "lots and lots of uncontrollable pieces of debris". Given those large sizes, a collision could have created a significant cloud of unsafe debris. The smashup generated 1,800 pieces of trackable debris by the following October, as well as many others too small to detect.

Basically, it's worth avoiding these sorts of events.

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