n MNASSA : Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of South Africa - Two satellites collide over Siberia : news notes

Volume 68, Issue 3_4
  • ISSN : 0024-8266



Despite the vastness of space and satellite operators constantly looking out for possible collisions, two large satellites collided on Tuesday, 10 February 2009. One was Cosmos 2251, a defunct communications satellite launched in 1993 by the Russian Ministry of Defence. The other, Iridium 33, which was still operational, is one of a constellation of 66 satellites forming part of a global satellite phone communications network. Needless to say, the Iridium satellite no longer works - the impact left it spinning out of control.

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