With so much space junk revolving around the Earth above the atmosphere, there’s no wonder how some of it collides with satellites. It also happened the same with Yunhai 1-02, a Chinese military satellite. The US Space Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron (18SPCS) reported the satellite’s breakup. Thanks to the analysis of astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell, it was concluded that the collision with something present in orbit was the cause, as revealed by Space.com.
The piece of space junk was part of a Zenit-2 rocket that lifted a spy satellite into space over two decades ago.
Space-Track catalog updated today with a note for object 48078, 1996-051Q: "Collided with satellite".
This is a new kind of comment entry – haven't seen such a comment for any other satellites before. Let's look a bit closer:
— Jonathan McDowell (@planet4589) August 15, 2021
McDowell also said for Space.com the following:
Collisions are proportional to the square of the number of things in orbit,
That is to say, if you have 10 times as many satellites, you’re going to get 100 times as many collisions. So, as the traffic density goes up, collisions are going to go from being a minor constituent of the space junk problem to being the major constituent. That’s just math.
The Kessler syndrome represents the scenario that satellite operators must avoid. It means a cascading series of impacts that could cause too much debris on the Earth orbit.
Commercial satellite aims to remove space debris
The world is not indifferent in the face of the space junk problem that sits above the atmosphere. The satellite End-of-Life Services by Astroscale demonstration (ELSA-d) will be serving as proof of concept regarding space-cleaning missions such as reducing space debris.
It’s obvious that too much space debris also make it dangerous for astronauts to remain for too long in Earth’s orbit, not only when it comes to the advanced gears. Space junk generally revolves around our planet at the staggering speed of 18,000mph.
The faster something moves, the harder it will crash into something, according to the laws of physics that none of us can defy.