For a while this week, it looks like there may be an impact in orbit around the Earth between two pieces of space debris that could cause damage to other satellites. Two pieces of space debris include a non-existent Soviet satellite and a discarded Chinese launch vehicle. The two headed towards each other on Thursday night and almost missed the collision.
A company called LeoLabs, a private space tracking company, uses ground-based radar to track space objects and has predicted a chance of a collision of 10% or more. The company’s chief executive said that while there is a high chance of a collision, the situation is not unusual. The U.S. military had predicted an almost zero chance of the objects colliding.
The military made its estimates based on data from the world̵
Jah says his data shows that dozens of potential collisions occur at any given time. He also said that the non-functioning satellite and rocket amplifier are expected to reach 72 meters from each other. However, he also failed to determine whether the objects would collide or not until the event passed.
LeoLabs’ CEO said his company wanted to raise public awareness of the event, as the two sites are large and in relatively clean orbit compared to those nearby. The company also wants to raise general awareness of the space debris problem to encourage the private sector to clean it up. He said that several times a week the satellites are at a distance of 100 meters from each other.