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Unfortunately, I can't even view either of these until march due to the timing of their orbits. Anyone have a shot at seeing it sometime in the next couple days?
Both vehicles were traveling at about 16,800 MPH (26,800 KPH). Since they were in different orbital planes, their relative closing speed must have been at least several hundred miles per hour. One of Iridium's mobile telephony nodes instantly became a cloud of space junk, as did the Russian spacecraft.
The resulting debris field adds to the already vast quantity of space junk in low Earth orbit. Since the satellites collided at an altitude of 491 miles, this new debris will remain in orbit for decades, if not centuries.
To compound the situation the Iridium satellite was part of a constellation of over 66 identical spacecraft, all in near-polar orbits. Therefore, this single event dramatically increases the probability of further collisions among Iridium satellites and many other commercial and government spacecraft.
Originally posted by wolf241e
Is it really that far of a stretch that a couple of satellites, one a Russian bird, just happen to collide directly over Siberia??
Since the satellites collided at an altitude of 491 miles, this new debris will remain in orbit for decades, if not centuries.
Nicholas Johnson, an orbital debris expert at the Houston space center, said the risk of damage from Tuesday’s collision is greater for the Hubble Space Telescope and Earth-observing satellites, which are in higher orbit and nearer the debris field.
The Iridium craft weighed 1,235 pounds (560 kilograms), and the Russian craft nearly a ton.
Hundreds of pieces of debris
The U.S. Strategic Command's Space Surveillance Network detected the two debris clouds created by Tuesday's collision. Julie Ziegenhorn, a spokeswoman for the Strategic Command, told msnbc.com that the collision left behind an estimated 600 pieces of debris, but she emphasized that the Pentagon's orbital watchdog had to do "still more characterization" of the collision's potential effect.
NASA's Matney said the count would likely be in the thousands if pieces of debris down to the scale of microns — about the size of a grain of sand — are included.
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Iridium was to be 77 now 47 or so LEO (Low Earth Orbit) at
600 miles or so altitude satellites until funding quite.
The high security communications are used by the government.
Globalstar was a competitor reportedly used by Bin Laden until
he got tipped off we could target him with the GPS system.
Then those satellite phones were banned by Osama.