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8 تعليقات

  1. Those are two massive objects (2800kg or 6100 lbs) with a high relative velocity (14km/s or 31,000 mph) basically head on, so a crash would be a disaster.

  2. Considering they have nearly opposite velocities, would any debris have enough velocity to stay in orbit after a collision?

    I'd assume the majority would fall out of orbit while maybe a few smaller pieces stay up, but if anyone knows of similar past events or simulations for reference then I'd be interested in seeing them!

  3. Now would be a good time to push one of the satellites out of the way (softly). Maybe one of those big airborne lasers [1]

    Every piece of junk we put in space should be able to de-orbit on command.

    [1] I know, I know the ranges are way off, but it _could_ work if something on the outside of the object would gas off and provide a propellant https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_YAL-1

  4. Here's my rough impression of what we may expect to see if the collision happens. Note that the collision isn't going to be perfectly heads-on, and is statistically unlikely for the centers of mass to collide.

    BEFORE:

           ^    /
           |   |
           |   o - CZ-4C R/B
           |  /
           | |
           | /
           |/
           |
           *
          /|
         | |
         / |
        /  o - COSMOS 2004
       |   |
       /   |
      v    |
    

    AFTER:

         aaa^    /
         aaaa   |
          aaaa  |
           aa  /
         b aa b b
       bb b bb b b
           ccc  b b
          ccccc  b b
       b  ccccc  b b
     b b   ccc
      b b b b  b
       b  a |
         aa |
       aaa  |
       aaa  |
       aaa  |
    

    Legend:

    a – Shattered fragments of the parts of satellites that weren't involved in direct hypervelocity collision, but got torn off and spun. Essentially like a shotgun discharge, but in space. These will carry most of their original kinetic energy and follow close to their satellite's original trajectory, slowly spreading over time and becoming untrackable. These will stay around the longest.

    b – Pieces that were close to or directly involved in the collision, retaining enough orbital velocity to stay in space. May be on highly eccentric orbits. Should decay faster than pieces labeled "a" (I think, I'm not sure).

    c – Pieces that lost enough velocity to fall either straight down, or fly upwards and then fall straight down. These may cause some damage on their way down to ground, but should disappear quickly.

    For reference, here are some (much prettier) diagrams of the 2009 collision, that happened at close to 90 degree angle: http://celestrak.com/events/collision/.

  5. I am trying to wrap my head around this, assuming collision, what would be the likely secondary effects – many satellites knocked out? Communications grids down? Falling debris doing real damage (seems unlikely to me, but maybe airplanes?)

    The first two seem likely given Kessler syndrome.

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