Debris from Russian missile test almost hit a Chinese satellite

25/01/2022
Credit: Space Debris Monitoring and Application Center of the China National Space Administration/CNN - A simulated image released by China's Space Debris Monitoring and Application Center shows how close the debris from Russia's recent anti-satellite test came to their satellite.
Credit: Space Debris Monitoring and Application Center of the China National Space Administration/CNN - A simulated image released by China's Space Debris Monitoring and Application Center shows how close the debris from Russia's recent anti-satellite test came to their satellite.

Remnants of Russian missile testing almost hit a Chinese satellite, according to CNN news. It is already the third time that there is a possibility of crashing satellites or space stations with space debris from a satellite destroyed by Russia a few months ago. Potential collisions also occurred with the ISS (International Space Station), luckily nothing happened. 

The Chinese government described the meeting as "extremely dangerous". And it was dangerous because the wreckage of the Russian satellite destroyed by Russia passed the Chinese satellite just 14.5 m away (~ 48 feet) according to the Space Debris Monitoring and Application Center of the China National Space Administration.

So far no one was able to send in the perfect solution, which is not strange. It would be a disaster because if it had collided, it could have caused a "hypersonic shock wave," said Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. It can also cause a disaster because space debris can reach extremely high speeds. "A piece big enough to be tracked like this, it hits at 12,000 miles per hour, and you get a hypersonic shockwave going through the satellite that reduces it to shrapnel, to confetti," he said. "The fact that it's still there means it didn't hit, but that's the only way you know that," McDowell said. 

The incident in November 2021 is still quite disputed. The administration of US President Joe Biden condemned the test as dangerous and irresponsible, according to CNN. The test by which Russia destroyed one of its satellites with an anti-satellite rocket generated a lot of space debris. In November, the US Space Command said the test generated "more than 1,500 pieces of traceable orbital debris and will likely generate hundreds of thousands of smaller pieces of orbital debris."

Article by: Andacs Robert Eugen, on 25 January 2022, at 12:25 pm Los Angeles time

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