May 23, 2022

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In March, a Chinese satellite suffered unexpected damage, and a new study suggests that it smashed into Russian space debris

In March, a Chinese satellite suffered unexpected damage, and a new study suggests that it smashed into Russian space debris

On March 18 of this year, the US Space Force reported an accident in low Earth orbit. the Chinese satellite Yunhai 1-02 He lost a number of parts after what appeared to be a bump or malfunction with the device. Five months later the problem was discovered: The remnants of a Russian missile in 1996 destroyed the satellite, which illustrates the problem space debris can cause.


Yunhai 1-02 was launched in September 2019 from the Gobi Desert. Its purpose in space is to collect satellite images for meteorological, environmental and other experiments. When it was launched, its useful life was certainly not expected to end after a year and a half. But what happened. The satellite was unexpectedly damaged on March 18, 2021. It is not clear if it is still operating or if the Chinese space agency has requested control.

Object 48078

Due to the safety of these operations, gWhat actually happened is not generally reported to the public. Space agencies usually don’t discuss issues like this publicly unless they have a direct impact on society. In this case, only the satellite was known to have sustained damage, but little damage.

Therefore, it is necessary to turn to astrophysicists and amateur astronomers to discover more clues to what really happened. It appears that astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell has found The cause of the accident in Yunhai 1-02: Object 48078.

What is Object 48078? It is an inch-long piece of the Russian Zenit-2 rocket, which was launched in 1996 to carry the Russian spy satellite Tselina-2. For years, debris from this rocket and many thousands more have been tracked into orbit Space-Track.org to know their paths. Jonathan McDowell recently discovered something intriguing about the information in this article, Comment referring to “collided with a satellite”.

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After further investigating the data from object 48078, the astrophysicist was able to see that there had only been data about it since March of this year. This indicates that it may have hit something to be detected. Likewise, his path reveals that On March 18, at 7:41 GMT, it passed within one kilometer of the Yunhai 1-02 . satellite’s path. Given the margin of error in these paths, a collision between the two is likely.

collision Produce a total of 37 new unwanted aliens. At least 37 have been discovered so far, so there’s more. This, in a way, reveals the space debris problem. Many fear that these types of actions produce the Kessler effect, in which a series of successive collisions can cause more and more debris to be generated and thus more collisions. Subsequently junk space cleaning software very necessary.

via | SCMP