Orbital Impact, Iridium 33 vs Cosmos 2251

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rybanis

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<p>Oh come ON.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>That Iridium Sat must have had capibility to manouver, while that Russian bird most likely did not. I would think that somebody would notice this little problem. Who screwed up? </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Oh come ON.&nbsp;That Iridium Sat must have had capibility to manouver, while that Russian bird most likely did not. I would think that somebody would notice this little problem. Who screwed up? <br />Posted by rybanis</DIV><br /><br />From the StratFor article:</p><p>"This is the first case in history of two satellites colliding. The orbital altitude where the collision took place is among the most crowded in low Earth orbit, but statistically speaking, the enormous scale of space makes the chance that this kind of direct collision would occur completely by accident infinitesimal.</p><p>This unlikelihood is compounded by the fact that the U.S. Air Force Space Surveillance Network provides space situational awareness and tracks some 18,000 satellites, orbital debris and other objects orbiting the earth. Though the network&rsquo;s tracking of each of these objects is not constant, all objects of a certain size or larger are catalogued; potential collisions or near misses are generally spotted, and satellites can usually be maneuvered to avoid them."</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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silylene old

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<p>Apparently the orbital debris pattern might be quite bad, as a lot of staellites are in a similar height above the earth, especially as these fragments slowly de-orbit from drag.&nbsp; The iridium satellite which collided had a near circular&nbsp;orbit about 748-755 km high.</p><p>I went to my favorite satellite database and tallied up about 150 active satellites in nearly circular orbits which are from 550-750 km high.&nbsp; Here is a list (my list).&nbsp;&nbsp;Most of these satellites&nbsp;in this list are likely OK because&nbsp;I did not consider orbital intersection timings, and I was very relaxed in considering orbital inclinations.&nbsp; But some of them are definately at risk.</p><p>This list contains nearly every satellite the Chinese and German military has launched, 40 OrbComm machine-to-machine communication satellites which are moderately important , all of the Saudi and S. American comsats, and some key US defense satellites...and all the remaining Iridiums.</p><p>Falconsat</p><p>3 Fermi gamma ray scopes</p><p>3 Genesis</p><p>Hessi</p><p>4 IGS (1A, 3A, 3B, 4A)</p><p>71 remaining Iridiums</p><p>JeanBing</p><p><font color="#ff0000">4 Lacrosse sats</font> - I bet the US military is looking hard here</p><p><font color="#ff0000">2 Landsats</font></p><p>Lapan</p><p>4 Latin Sats</p><p>Nazing</p><p>NFire</p><p>NigeriaSat</p><p>OceanSat</p><p>Odin</p><p><font color="#ff0000">40 OrbComm</font> sats - significant communication satellites!</p><p>Sunsat</p><p>PcSat</p><p>pehuenSat</p><p>Posat</p><p>Tersona N-1</p><p>2 Quickbirds</p><p>2 RadarSat</p><p>5 Rabieye</p><p>reimiei</p><p>5 Sar-Lupe</p><p>11 SaudiComSat</p><p>10 Shijian, Shiyan</p><p>STPSat</p><p>Suzuki</p><p>Swift</p><p>tecSar</p><p>2 Theos</p><p>5 Yoagan</p><p>3 Zhanggoo</p><p>Rossi</p><p>UniSat</p><p>Vesat</p><p>UK-DMC</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>from http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090212/ts_nm/us_space_collision_8</p><p>The collision between the Iridium Satellite LLC-operated satellite and the Russian Cosmos-2251 military satellite occurred at about 485 miles above the Russian Arctic.</p><p>That is an altitude used by satellites that monitor weather, relay communications and perform scientific observations.</p><p>"It's a very important orbit for a lot of satellites," said Air Force Colonel Les Kodlick from the U.S. Strategic Command. "We believe it's the first time that two satellites have collided in orbit."</p><p>The U.S. Joint Space Operations Center was tracking 500 to 600 new pieces of debris, some as small as 4 inches across, in addition to the 18,000 or so other man-made objects it previously catalogued in space, he said.</p><p>Russian Space Forces said it was monitoring debris that was spread over altitudes between 500 km (310 miles) and 1300 km (807 miles) above <font class="klinkFont" color="#dc0000"><span style="font-weight:400;margin-bottom:-2pt;color:#000000!important;font-family:arial,helvetica,clean,sans-serif" class="kLink">earth</span></font>.</p><p>The priority is guarding the International Space Station, which orbits at 220 miles, substantially below the collision altitude. One Russian and two U.S. astronauts are currently aboard the station.</p><p>SPACE STATION</p><p>The orbit of the ISS can be changed by controllers from Earth but even a tiny piece of debris can cause significant damage to the space station as it travels at 8 km per second.</p><p>"If there is any threat to the ISS then there will be an announcement," one Russian space official said. Another said there was little immediate threat to the station.</p><p>The crash has underlined concerns about how crowded the orbit paths around the planet have become in recent decades.</p><p>But experts said the chances of such a collision are extremely low and added that leading space powers have been racing to develop new ways to destroy orbiting objects.</p><p>"The orbital altitude where the collision took place is among the most crowded in low Earth orbit," Texas-based security consultancy Stratfor said in a research note.</p><p>"But statistically speaking, the enormous scale of space makes the chance that this kind of direct collision would occur completely by accident infinitesimal," it said. </p><p>The collision occurred in a polar orbit not far from that of a defunct Chinese weather satellite shot apart by a ground-based ballistic missile in a Chinese weapons test in January 2007. </p><p>The United States used a missile to blow apart a tank of toxic fuel on a defective U.S. spy satellite last February. </p><p>There was no indication that Tuesday's collision was intentional on the part of anyone, said a U.S. government source who asked not to be named. </p><p>The European Union said on Thursday leading nations should adopt a code of conduct for civil and military activities in space. </p><p>(Additional reporting by Conor Sweeney, Tatiana Ustinova in Moscow, Tim Hepher in Paris and Jim Wolf in Washington; editing by Christian Lowe)</p><p><br /><br />&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature" align="center"><em><font color="#0000ff">- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -</font></em> </div><div class="Discussion_UserSignature" align="center"><font color="#0000ff"><em>I really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function.</em></font> </div> </div>
 
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optronics48

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<p>If a speck of paint chipped the shuttles windshield, what can a 1/4 in - 6 mm nut flying at 17,000 miles an hour do? There must be tens of thousands of such objects in unknown orbits by now. I imagine such an event aboard an orbiting craft would sound like a small explosion followed by absolute chaos.</p><p>Do astronauts have any training or procedure to follow in case of a foreign object pucturing the hull? </p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
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vogon13

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<p>&nbsp;</p><p>Karma would preferentially direct debris towards still active Chinese satellites in a perfect world.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#ff0000"><strong>TPTB went to Dallas and all I got was Plucked !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#339966"><strong>So many people, so few recipes !!</strong></font></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>Let's clean up this stinkhole !!</strong></font> </p> </div>
 
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rubicondsrv

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>If a speck of paint chipped the shuttles windshield, what can a 1/4 in - 6 mm nut flying at 17,000 miles an hour do? </DIV></p><p>it would put a hole through most any spacecraft in orbit. including ISS.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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rybanis

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This just makes me frustrated. What if the Hubble takes a hit? What if anything else takes a serious hit, really? There could be a pretty good chain reaction at that altitude, given how crowded it is. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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Smersh

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>This just makes me frustrated. What if the Hubble takes a hit? What if anything else takes a serious hit, really? There could be a pretty good chain reaction at that altitude, given how crowded it is. <br /> Posted by rybanis</DIV></p><p>Absolutely. ESA published a series of pictures like this a while back:</p><p><br /> <img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/12/10/3ceaafda-e576-4db6-9ab8-64b1de68e130.Medium.jpg" alt="" /><br />&nbsp;</p><p>On visiting <strong>this ESA link,</strong> a series of thumbanils of the above view and several others are shown. If you click on "High-Res" on any of the thumbs, particulary the LEO ones, it brings the problem fully into perspective.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <h1 style="margin:0pt;font-size:12px">----------------------------------------------------- </h1><p><font color="#800000"><em>Lady Nancy Astor: "Winston, if you were my husband, I'd poison your tea."<br />Churchill: "Nancy, if you were my wife, I'd drink it."</em></font></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>Website / forums </strong></font></p> </div>
 
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tanstaafl76

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<p>Time for a commercial space garbage scow endeavor perhaps? &nbsp;Galactic Waste Management?&nbsp;<img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-money-mouth.gif" border="0" alt="Money mouth" title="Money mouth" />&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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<p>Iridium 33: 776 x 791 km, 86.4 degrees inclination<br /><br />Cosmos 2251 : 767 x 803 km, 74 degrees inclination<br /><br />Check out the orbital animation here:<br /><br />http://www.n2yo.com/collision-between-two-satellites.php<br /><br />COSMOS 2251 was coming from West to East while IRIDIUM 33 from South to North </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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shuttle_guy

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Oh come ON.&nbsp;That Iridium Sat must have had capibility to manouver, while that Russian bird most likely did not. I would think that somebody would notice this little problem. Who screwed up? <br />Posted by rybanis</DIV></p><p>Neither satellite could adjust it's orbit<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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shuttle_guy

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>If a speck of paint chipped the shuttles windshield, what can a 1/4 in - 6 mm nut flying at 17,000 miles an hour do? There must be tens of thousands of such objects in unknown orbits by now. I imagine such an event aboard an orbiting craft would sound like a small explosion followed by absolute chaos.Do astronauts have any training or procedure to follow in case of a foreign object pucturing the hull? &nbsp; <br />Posted by optronics48</DIV></p><p>The relative velocity of any impact would be less that 17,000 mph depending on the angle of the 2 intersecting orbits.</p><p>Do astronauts have training for loss of pressure in their vehicle? Yes they do. If they survive the impact they de-orbit and come back ASAP.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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michaelmozina

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Time for a commercial space garbage scow endeavor perhaps? &nbsp;Galactic Waste Management?&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> Posted by tanstaafl76</DIV></p><p>Hey, another possible way to earn a living in space!&nbsp; It seems the trash collectors are needed everywhere, even in space.&nbsp; I started another thread on this problem before I saw this particular thread.&nbsp; Evidently there are something on the order of 275,000 or so objects more than a cm in diameter and tens of millions of smaller "parts" flying around the Earth now.&nbsp; This is likely to be a growing problem.&nbsp; </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> It seems to be a natural consequence of our points of view to assume that the whole of space is filled with electrons and flying electric ions of all kinds. - Kristian Birkeland </div>
 
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bpcooper

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>The relative velocity of any impact would be less that 17,000 mph depending on the angle of the 2 intersecting orbits<br /> Posted by shuttle_guy</DIV></p><p>Relative velocity could be as much as twice that if they are on polar orbits and opposite nodes at the time of impact. </p><p>They stated yesterday the impact took place at roughly 7 mi/s. EDIT: AGI simulation had it at about 15,000 mph. </p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Neither satellite could adjust it's orbit</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;The Iridium could have conducted an avoidance maneuver had they known prior. The problem is that they could probaby predict a "close encounter" within miles at best; Iridium might have decided not to based on the small probability given as it would use up fuel and they have spares. </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>-Ben</p> </div>
 
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nimbus

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Hey, another possible way to earn a living in space!&nbsp; It seems the trash collectors are needed everywhere, even in space.&nbsp; I started another thread on this problem before I saw this particular thread.&nbsp; Evidently there are something on the order of 275,000 or so objects more than a cm in diameter and tens of millions of smaller "parts" flying around the Earth now.&nbsp; This is likely to be a growing problem.&nbsp; <br /> Posted by michaelmozina</DIV><br />My thoughts exactly.. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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Smersh

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;Karma would preferentially direct debris towards still active Chinese satellites in a perfect world.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> Posted by vogon13</DIV> &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p>Not to mention Iranian ones ...&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <h1 style="margin:0pt;font-size:12px">----------------------------------------------------- </h1><p><font color="#800000"><em>Lady Nancy Astor: "Winston, if you were my husband, I'd poison your tea."<br />Churchill: "Nancy, if you were my wife, I'd drink it."</em></font></p><p><font color="#0000ff"><strong>Website / forums </strong></font></p> </div>
 
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CalliArcale

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'> &nbsp; &nbsp;Not to mention Iranian ones ...&nbsp; <br /> Posted by Smersh</DIV></p><p>Plural?&nbsp; ;-) </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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rybanis

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I was thinking that it might be a good thing to have some solar activity right now...expand the atmosphere and increase drag. I know there are serious drawbacks to that, but still! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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silylene old

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Neither satellite could adjust it's orbit <br />Posted by shuttle_guy</DIV><br /><br />I am pretty sure that the Iridiums carried an onboard fuel supply and could change orbit with adequate advance notice.&nbsp; This particular Iridium was an older one.&nbsp; Was it out of fuel? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature" align="center"><em><font color="#0000ff">- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -</font></em> </div><div class="Discussion_UserSignature" align="center"><font color="#0000ff"><em>I really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function.</em></font> </div> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>I am pretty sure that the Iridiums carried an onboard fuel supply and could change orbit with adequate advance notice.&nbsp; This particular Iridium was an older one.&nbsp; Was it out of fuel? <br />Posted by silylene</DIV><br /><br />I don't think it would be out of propellant, because then it couldn't be part of the active constellation. The antennas need to be precisely aligned for proper coverage (that's the whole reason Iridium flares are predictable; because the exact direction each of the 3 antennas are pointing is known.) <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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bpcooper

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>I don't think it would be out of propellant, because then it couldn't be part of the active constellation. The antennas need to be precisely aligned for proper coverage (that's the whole reason Iridium flares are predictable; because the exact direction each of the 3 antennas are pointing is known.) <br /> Posted by MeteorWayne</DIV></p><p>It had onboard fuel and could have moved, if they had known and chosen to. </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>-Ben</p> </div>
 
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shuttle_guy

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>I am pretty sure that the Iridiums carried an onboard fuel supply and could change orbit with adequate advance notice.&nbsp; This particular Iridium was an older one.&nbsp; Was it out of fuel? <br />Posted by silylene</DIV></p><p>I was told that it was out of fuel however that was apparently not correct.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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shuttle_guy

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Relative velocity could be as much as twice that if they are on polar orbits and opposite nodes at the time of impact. They stated yesterday the impact took place at roughly 7 mi/s. EDIT: AGI simulation had it at about 15,000 mph. &nbsp;&nbsp;The Iridium could have conducted an avoidance maneuver had they known prior. The problem is that they could probaby predict a "close encounter" within miles at best; Iridium might have decided not to based on the small probability given as it would use up fuel and they have spares. <br />Posted by bpcooper</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Correct Ben, I had a senior moment.<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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newsartist

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;Correct Ben, I had a senior moment. <br />Posted by shuttle_guy</DIV></p><p>Does Iridium use thrusters or gyro wheels for fine attitude adjustment?<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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