Space debris from satellite explosion increases collision risk for space craft

6 mayo 2015

Debris from the US Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F13 satellite, which recently exploded in orbit, could pose a threat to other spacecraft and missions according to new research. On 3 February 2015, the DMSP F13 satellite exploded in orbit producing over an estimated 100 pieces of space debris that were detected using radar. In assessing how debris created by the explosion might affect their spacecraft, the European Space Agency and other satellite operators concluded that it would pose little risk to their missions. However, scientists have now investigated the risks to a wide range of space missions, coming from smaller pieces of debris created by the explosion that cannot be detected using radar based on the ground. In the case of the explosion of DMSP-F13, they detected 100 new catalogued objects, which suggest that more than 50,000 small fragments larger than 1mm were created.