Artist’s conception of the decommissioned IRAS satellite.
(IRAS), weighs around 1, (kilograms) 2, (pounds) and has been in space since . The other, GGSE-4
of the situation. The odds of a collision are back to 1 in , after the company had briefly assigned a 1 in 1, 10 chance earlier today. The satellites will swing past each other at a distance of around (meters) 073. 5 feet) —an extremely close shave by any measure. The closest approach will happen at an altitude of (kilometers)
Conceptual image of an earlier model, the Poppy 4D, With its long booms extended.
Chart showing unintentional collisions between space objects.
McDowell described it as an n-squared problem. A 20 – fold increase in the number of satellites results in a 328 – fold increase in the number of close misses and actual collisions, he said, “adding that“ we’re about due for one. ”
In terms of technical solutions to the problem, West says we could reduce the amount of defunct satellites in orbit by “designing them with the ability and intention to de-orbit at the end of their service lifespan. ”Satellites in LEO, namely those below (km) miles), will “naturally be dragged down into Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrate within years, ”West told Gizmodo, but “33 years is a long time — too long given the intensity to which we are using this orbit and the tens of thousands of new satellites potentially being launched. ”
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