Saturday, May 25, 2013

Check that one off

Revisiting my undangerous predictions for 2013;  number 10 was somewhat of an afterthought, added to make the list have 10 items:

10. A major satellite collision in space emphasizes the space debris problem.
-- The odds of this keep increasing every year!

Well, if you consider the first-ever satellite belonging to the country of Ecuador 'major' (the Ecuadorians probably do), then this is a totally came-true prediction.  Even if it's only a little nanosatellite, it was working, it was in orbit, and now it's in big trouble after hitting stuff in space.

Ecuador satellite hits Soviet era space junk

"Mr Nader said that despite the collision, which occurred 1,500 kilometres above the east coast of Madagascar, the satellite seemed to be holding its course.

Later data indicated that the nanosatellite [named Pegaso], a cube weighing just 1.2 kilograms, struck tiny debris in the particle cloud surrounding the Soviet space junk.

The EXA said that the satellite's antenna had lost its orientation and the craft was spinning wildly over two of its axes, and could not receive transmissions or send commands.

According to the space agency Ecuadoran engineers will not know whether they can get Pegaso to work again until Monday."
The ironic thing about hitting Soviet space junk is that Ecuador will try again with another nanosatellite on a Soviet rocket (the first one was launched on a Chinese rocket).

Unfortunately, the plans to have streaming Webcam views from space from Pegaso are probably not going to work out. 

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