Two Large Pieces Of Space Debris In Low Earth Orbit Avoid Collision

Space Debris

In a huge relief to the scientific community, two large pieces of space debris avoided a collision. The two pieces were of a dead satellite and a rocket. While the dead satellite belonged to Russia, the rocket was owned by China. The two jointly had a mass of approximately 2,800 kgs. It was predicted that the two would collide with each other. According to LeoLabs, the chance of a mash-up was more than 10 percent. But the two large pieces of space junk avoid a collision. They managed to zoom safely past each other over the South Atlantic Ocean. LeoLabs is a California-based private space tracking firm.

LeoLabs predicted had the two orbital debris collided with each other, they would have created a huge cloud of debris in the low Earth orbit. The low Earth orbit would have become more polluted by nearly 20 percent. The two objects were hurtling toward each other at around 52,900 km per hour. The two space debris in the question was named Cosmos 2004 and CZ-4C R/B. As per LeoLabs’ assessment, they missed the collision by just a distance of 11 meters. It added that Cosmos 2004 is still intact. LeoLabs said that it will share more details about the event and the status of CZ-4C R/B later after doing an analysis.

The low Earth orbit is filled with defunct human-made objects. As many as there are 34,000 debris objects currently in the orbit. According to the European Space Agency’s report on space debris, these 34,000 debris objects are larger than 10 cms. The number of satellites in lower Earth orbit is increasing rapidly and so the amount of debris. The low Earth orbit is not very high. Its altitude is 2,000 km. Scientists believe that space debris will pose a threat to satellites that are currently orbiting in low Earth orbit and also to future satellites. The space debris in the low Earth orbit is impacted by Earth’s atmosphere. Earth’s atmosphere degrades space debris’ orbit and thus drags them back to the planet.