Two dead satellites orbiting the Earth at 50 feet per second could collide

Two dead satellites orbiting the Earth at 50 feet per second could collide over the United States on Wednesday creating a dangerous field of debris and space debris.

  • One of the satellites is the American, Dutch and British space telescope called IRAS
  • The other is an experimental satellite of scientific load from the USA. UU. Launched in 1967
  • If they collide, it will happen 560 miles above Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Wednesday

Two dead satellites orbiting the Earth at 50 feet per second could collide over the United States on Wednesday creating a dangerous field of debris and space debris.

The space tracking specialist company, LeoLabs, said the two objects will pass about 50 feet from each other, which is unusually close and increases the risk of a collision.

If they collide, it will be 560 miles above Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 23:39 GMT on Wednesday, but it will have no impact on Earth as debris would burn in the atmosphere.

If satellites hit each other at high speed, it would destroy the smallest scientific payload and generate debris that could potentially affect other satellites.

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Two dead satellites, including the IRAS space telescope, which orbits the Earth at 50 feet per second, could collide over the United States on Wednesday creating a dangerous debris field.

The out-of-service telescope is called IRAS and was launched in 1983 as an association of NASA, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom to examine the entire infrared night sky.

The other satellite is called GCSE 4 and is a retired scientific payload used for experiments: it was launched in 1967.

According to LeoLabs, the approach and speed at which they move “is especially alarming” due to the size of the larger object.

IRAS is 11.8 feet long and the combined size of the two objects “greatly increases the probability of a collision.”

Because both satellites are dead, without fuel or the ability to light, Earth cannot communicate with them for evasive maneuvers.

“Events like this highlight the need for responsible and timely desorbitation of satellites for the sustainability of space in the future,” the tracking company said in a Tweet.

There are a number of projects under development to address situations like this, including one from the European Space Agency that could see dead satellites captured and exorbitant safely.

Unfortunately, the ClearSpace-1 mission, which will be the first to remove an element of debris from orbit, is not planned for launch until 2025.

ESA will entrust the technology and operations of the mission to commercial companies with the hope of ‘boosting a new industry in desorbit services’.

In the same way that private rocket launch companies take the payment to put satellites into orbit, in the future private organizations could be paid to fall again.

In 2009, the commercial communications satellite Iridium 33 collided with the abandoned Russian military satellite Kosmos-2251 at a speed of 26,000 miles per hour: the blue lines in this graphic show the orbit of the thousands of debris that caused the accident.

In 2009, the commercial communications satellite Iridium 33 collided with the abandoned Russian military satellite Kosmos-2251 at a speed of 26,000 miles per hour: the blue lines in this graphic show the orbit of the thousands of debris that caused the accident.

In 2009, the commercial communications satellite Iridium 33 collided with the abandoned Russian military satellite Kosmos-2251 at a speed of 26,000 miles per hour: the blue lines in this graphic show the orbit of the thousands of debris that caused the accident.

The consequences of a satellite collision can be significant, resulting in thousands of pieces of space debris.

An example of a collision is from 2009 when an active commercial communications satellite called Iridium 33 collided with the abandoned Russian military satellite Kosmos-2251 at a speed of 26,000 miles per hour.

NASA estimated that just 10 days after the accident, more than 1,000 pieces of debris more than three inches were created from the accident.

While the debris did not directly hit any other satellite, it did cause the International Space Station to have to perform an evasion maneuver two years later in 2011.

“Imagine how dangerous it would be to sail on the high seas if all the ships lost in history were still adrift on the surface of the water,” says ESA Director General Jan Wörner.

“That is the current situation in orbit, and it cannot be allowed to continue.”

What is space junk?

It is estimated that there are 170 million pieces of the so-called ‘space junk’, left after missions that can be as large as spent rocket stages or as small as paint flakes, in orbit along with about US $ 700 billion (£ 555 billion) of space infrastructure.

But only 22,000 are tracked, and with fragments capable of traveling at speeds above 16,777 mph (27,000kmh), even small parts could seriously damage or destroy satellites.

However, traditional grip methods do not work in space, since the suction cups do not work in a vacuum and the temperatures are too low for substances such as tape and glue.

Magnet-based clamps are useless because most of the debris in orbit around the Earth is not magnetic.

Around 500,000 pieces of man-made debris (artist’s impression) currently orbit our planet, consisting of disused satellites, pieces of spacecraft and spent rockets.

Most of the proposed solutions, including rubble harpoons, require or cause a blunt interaction with the debris, which could push those objects in unforeseen and unforeseen directions.

Scientists point to two events that have seriously worsened the problem of space debris.

The first was in February 2009, when an Iridium and Kosmos-2251 telecommunications satellite, a Russian military satellite, accidentally collided.

The second was in January 2007, when China tested an anti-satellite weapon on an old Fengyun weather satellite.

Experts also noted two sites that have become worryingly messy.

One is the low Earth orbit used by satnav satellites, the ISS, the Chinese manned missions and the Hubble telescope, among others.

The other is in geostationary orbit, and is used by communications, meteorological and surveillance satellites that must maintain a fixed position in relation to the Earth.

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