FP TrendingMay 12, 2020 2:16:40 PM
Russian space agency Roscosmos confirmed that an old rocket used in previous launches broke down on May 8. The Fregat-SB upper stage rocket was floating in space after it was used to deliver Spektr-R, a Russian scientific satellite, to its orbit in 2011.
Roscosmos is still judging the seriousness of the situation. But the 18 Space Control Squadron (18 SPCS), a US Air Force unit that detects and tracks all artificial objects in Earth's orbit, identified 65 pieces associated with the incident. He also said that no signs of collision were found.
# 18SPCS confirmed that the FREGAT DEB (TANK) spin-off (# 37756, 2011-037B) occurred on May 8, 2020, between 0402 and 0551 UTC. Tracking 65 associated parts – no indication caused by collision. #spaceflightsafety #space debrisAdvertisement
– 18 SPCS (@ 18SPCS) May 9, 2020
Frequently, space agencies launch satellites into space, with parts like the upper stage rocket left floating. They are necessary to start the machinery correctly, but they lead to the accumulation of debris in orbit. The increasing amount of space debris can be detrimental to future launches and scientists must take into account the location of the debris before sending any satellites.
O United Launch Alliance (ULA) of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics revealed in an article that several higher stages of launch vehicles lack the "propulsive ability" to "deorbitate after putting their cargo into orbit".
The ULA concluded that if space agencies use technologies that enhance disposal capabilities, the cost involved in maneuvering satellite vehicles to "prevent possible collisions" can be considerably reduced.
According to the AFP news agency, the Russian space agency had said in a statement that “the collapse [of Fregat-SB had] happened on May 8, 2020 ”, above the Indian Ocean. "We are currently working to collect data to confirm the fragments quantity and orbit parameters," added the statement.
The report said the radio telescope inside the Spektr-R stopped responding to ground signals in January 2019 and, a few months later, the mission was closed.
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