posted on Dec, 12 2012 @ 06:21 PM
Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
Hey...Where is that satellite that's suppose to capture and help deorbit defunct ones? Was that just a one shot try to test it or is that something
up there to help with these little misadventures by the lesser nations?
(great big grin)
That exists. No lie. We like to call it..."adversarial maintenance".
If it made it to a stable orbit (as they say...) and THEN started to oddly enough fall out, one might be given to wonder about such a thing, one
might. Orbital mechanics normally wouldn't do that for you unless you were in VERY low Earth orbit.
I can think of a few reasons why that might happen. Not saying any of them apply. One might, for example, attach a conductive loop to the satellite.
That was tested on an STS mission - the magnetic field of the Earth heats the loop, the energy is taken from the orbital speed of the satellite - you
can see it light up in IR if any of you have a major world class telescope. Drags 'em right down.
If the thing got to a starting orbit but then wasn't able to fire its OMS to stabilize the orbit, and started tumbling and falling in, well, how
could you know? It might just be a POS. Or maybe it took a laser pop or two. Or a kinetic projectile. Small caliber projectiles work great in space.
Who can say?