Wednesday, January 29, on the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, could face two decommissioned satellites, says Fox Business with reference to group tracking of space debris in LeoLabs, Inc.
The satellites were identified as derived from the exploitation of the space telescope IRAS (13777), first launched in 1983, and “experimental payload USA” GGSE-4 (2828), launched in 1967.
The announcement was made Monday afternoon, January 27, in account of the space group on Twitter. Representatives LeoLabs write that track the “event approximation” and that the satellites will move with a speed of about 9.1 miles per second (14.7 km per second) at an altitude of 559,2 miles (900 km) over Pittsburgh.
“29 Jan, 23:39:35 UTC the two objects will pass next to each other with a relative speed of 14.7 km/s (900 km directly above the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), the representatives noted LeoLabs in the second tweet. Our latest figures show that the predicted miss distance is 15-30 meters.”
In LeoLabs allocated size of the satellite IRAS as a cause for concern because it is 11.8 10.6 6.7 feet (3.6 to 3.2 on 2 meters). In addition, IRAS weighs more than a ton, so any impact, if it occurred, could be significant. GGSE-4 is much smaller in comparison and weighs about 10 pounds (4.5 kg).
As the decommissioned spacecraft, satellites not associated with the space station, making it virtually impossible for human intervention to prevent a potential collision.
“The total size of both objects increases the calculated probability of collision, which is about 1 to 100, write the representatives LeoLabs in a subsequent tweet. — Such events highlight the need for responsible and timely withdrawal from orbit satellites to provide space sustainability in the future.”
Space experts have contributed to the validity of the claims LeoLabs.
Space archaeologist Alice Gorman from Flinders University in Australia told the publication Science Alert that a collision of two satellites can cause the formation of large amounts of space debris.
“These clashes must have happened in the past, she explained. It really interesting that the alleged passage within 15-30 meters is incredibly small. Spacecraft took maneuvers to avoid collisions with objects that are within 37 miles (60 kilometers). And it is really very close acquaintance”.
“I would say that this is one of the most dangerous collisions possible, which we have seen for some time,” added Gorman.
Despite this statement, Gorman said the collision of the satellite is unlikely to cause harm to the residents of Pittsburgh because of its speed.
“They will collide at incredibly high speed. Most likely, the smaller satellite completely split into smaller pieces,” she explained.
However, increasing the number of space debris means increased “risk of a collision with a functioning satellite”. If the next decade of the garbage is not cleaned, the launch of satellites for space operations will become more difficult.
This news comes several days after reports that the DirectTV satellite, manufactured by Boeing, is in danger to explode due to a faulty battery. Both companies are working on the decommissioning of the satellite until February 25.
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