You may have heard of the recent fender bender in outer space between an Iridium satellite and a “defunct” Russian satellite:
12 Feb 2009
Russian and U.S. experts say the first-ever collision between two satellites has created clouds of debris that could threaten other unmanned spacecraft.
Russia’s Mission Control spokesman Valery Lyndin says there is little risk to the international space station with three crew members aboard.
Lyndin said Thursday that officials would monitor the debris from Tuesday’s collision to make sure no fragments get near the station. He said the station’s orbit was adjusted in the past to avoid debris.
Other Russian and U.S. officials warn that satellites in nearby orbits could be damaged.
The smashup occured over Siberia when a derelict Russian military communications satellite crossed paths with a U.S. Iridium satellite.
The two big communications satellites collided in the first-ever crash of two intact spacecraft in orbit, shooting out a pair of massive debris clouds and posing a slight risk to the international space station.
NASA said it will take weeks to determine the full magnitude of the crash, which occurred nearly 500 miles (800 kilometers) over Siberia on Tuesday.
Okay, so let’s think about this, because I don’t buy it. Why not?