LeoLabs, which is a private satellite-tracking company, is stating that two unfunctional satellites orbiting our planet are very close to a collision with one another exactly today. This event could happen at 23:39:35 UTC straight above Pittsburgh, PA, at a distance of 900 Kilometers. However, the same company is saying that at the same time, the two objects can pass close to each other and nothing more. The result of a collision between the two satellites will be in hundreds of pieces of debris traveling in space.
We are talking about two satellites which served the space companies right in their years of glory, and now they are defunct and dangerously close to each other. The Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) is the first satellite from NASA and the Netherlands Agency for Aerospace Programs’. They launched the 954 kilograms IRAS back in 1983. However, GGSE-4 or POPPY 5B, is the second defunct satellite in the equation, smaller than IRAS, with only 85 kilograms.
Two Unfunctional Satellites Could Have Collided Near Earth
The second satellite was launched back in 1967 by the U.S Naval Research Laboratory. Moreover, the information we have from LeoLabs is that we have a chance that the two satellites will miss each other. The distance they could lose each other is between 15 to 30 meters, so practically the possibility of collision is 1 in 100. If the crash happens, it will be at a speed of 14.7 km/s above Pittsburgh.
To sum up, LeoLabs is capable of tracking the tiniest objects in space, especially satellites and debris. The company will keep an eye on the situation of the collision and what is going to happen next. Take note that this kind of crash doesn’t present any risk for humanity. What will happen if it will crash is that space will have an addition of more than 1.000 pieces of debris.