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Iridium Satellite Destroyed in Collision

By | February 13, 2009

      [Satellite Today 02-13-09] A defunct Russian satellite collided with an Iridium satellite resulting in the destruction of both spacecraft, Iridium announced Feb. 12.
          The collision occurred above Siberia at 4:55 p.m. GMT on Feb 11.
          The Russian satellite involved was a Cosmos telecom spacecraft launched in 1993 and no longer in service. The Iridium satellite, launched in 1997, was still active in its network.
          "Although this event has minimal impact on Iridium’s service, the company is taking immediate action to address the loss," Iridium said in an announcement.
          The company did acknowledge that the loss may result in limited service disruptions in the form of "brief, occasional outages," Iridium said. The company expects to have a network solution in place by Friday, and will move one of its in-orbit spares to permanently replace the destroyed satellite within 30 days.
          It has also been reported that two massive clouds of debris, formed from the collision, may pose a threat to NASA‘s International Space Station (ISS). However, NASA officials told press officials that the ISS was not thought to be in significant danger as it orbits at an altitude of 220 miles, well below that of the satellite wreckage clouds.

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