Monday, April 19, 2021

DISASTER AVERTED: Russian Satellite, Chinese Rocket With Mass Of 2800 Kg Miss Each Other By A Whisker

A defunct Soviet (Russian) satellite and a Chinese rocket that were speeding towards each other in the space were at a “very high risk” of the collision. However, the collision between Russia and China in the outer space was fortunately avoided.

LeoLabs, a satellite tracking company said that two large defunct objects, with a combined mass of 2800Kgs, were moving towards collision in space, at a height of 991 kilometers from the surface of the earth. 

Turkey Finally Tests Russian-Origin S-400 Missiles; 3 Missile Fired & Hit Targets – Reports

“This event continues to be very high risk and will likely stay this way through the time of closest approach,” LeoLabs tweeted.

The miss distance was estimated at 12 meters and the chance of collision was at 10 percent, on Wednesday. While there was no risk to anyone on earth due to the distance, however, the debris that could have been caused due to the collision can risk future collisions and even the astronauts. 

RUSSIA-CHINA

By definition, space debris means defunct human-made objects in space—principally in Earth orbit—which no longer serve a useful function. Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer, estimated the amount of debris that the collision would have created would be equal to 14 tonnes of TNT. 

Since both the satellite and the rocket were defunct, there was no way to control either of the two.

“If this turns into a collision, it’s probably thousands to tens of thousands of new pieces of debris that is going to cause a headache for any satellite that’s going out into upper low-Earth orbit, or even beyond,” said Dan Ceperley, the CEO of LeoLabs, according to Business Insider.

“It’s maybe a much bigger problem than a lot of people realize.”

However, LeoLabs later said there was no indication of a collision.  

There have been growing concerns by astronomers for the increasing amount of space debris in earth’s orbit. According to the European Space Agency, there are about 128 million debris objects in orbit and about 34,000 of those objects are greater than 10 cm, as of February this year.

Even the tiny debris could prove to be catastrophic for satellites as they travel at great velocities. 

“The debris problem will continue to grow as more and more satellites launch to space — a trend that’s accelerating, thanks to continuing decreases in the costs of both launch and satellite development. And the problem could get out of hand, seriously threatening spaceflight and exploration activities, if we don’t start tackling it now,” wrote Space.com, citing experts.

China Ridicules Australia; Says With A Mere 1.4 Trillion Economy, It Seeks To Challenge Beijing

What’s even more worrying is that countries are now intentionally sending anti-satellite missiles which creates huge debris in space. Russia, China and the US have all launched such missiles. In 2019, India also successfully test-fired an Anti-Satellite Weapon that created about 6500 pieces of space debris.

According to NASA, two events created 70% of orbital debris.

“The deliberate destruction of the Chinese Fengyun-1C spacecraft in 2007 and the accidental collision of an American and a Russian spacecraft in 2009 alone have increased the large orbital debris population in low Earth Orbit by approximately 70%, posing greater collision risks for spacecraft operating in low Earth orbit.”

Featured News

Why Is India Not On The Same Page With Its ‘Democratic Allies’ On Myanmar’s Military Regime?

Days after condemning the ongoing violence in Myanmar at the United Nations, India has again changed its tone with regard to the country's military...

Unreliable Ally: Should US Withdrawal From Afghanistan Be A ‘Wake-Up Call’ For All Major Non- NATO Allies (MNNA)?

US President Joe Biden’s announcement that all American troops will withdraw from Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, thus ending...

How QUAD Allies India & Japan Are Making Andaman Islands A Key Military Hub To Checkmate China

India and Japan which are part of the QUAD block seem to have joined hands in the Indian Ocean region. India's strategically-located Andaman &...

Northern Sea Route: Can Russia’s Arctic Game-Plan Outdo US’ Strategy In The Indo-Pacific?

**Russia defines the Northern Sea Route as a shipping lane from the Kara Sea to the Pacific Ocean, specifically running along the Russian Arctic...

China To Conduct Most Rapid Expansion Of Nuclear Weapons & Delivery Mechanism Ever — US Report

China will continue its efforts to spread its influence, undercut that of the United States, drive wedges between Washington and its allies and partners,...