U.S. and Russian satellites collided violently, and space “traffic” accidents brought danger to the earth

Reference News Network reported on September 11. According to a report by Argentina’s Buenos Aires Economic News Network on September 5, the increasingly crowded space “traffic” is facing increasingly serious problems, and space “traffic” accidents will cause serious consequences on the earth. causing confusion. The full text is compiled as follows:

In February 2009, about 800 kilometers above Siberia, a disaster was imminent. Russia’s “Cosmos-2251” satellite is about to collide with the “Iridium-33” communications satellite operated by the US company Iridium Systems. This is the result of increasing space traffic that poses a threat to Earth. The orbits of these two man-made objects form a giant “X” above the Earth as they get closer and closer to colliding.

The violent collision shattered the two satellites into thousands of pieces. The relative speed of these two man-made objects exceeds 35,000 kilometers per hour.

The event went largely unnoticed but left a lasting legacy. The debris produced by the collision between “Cosmos-2251” and “Iridium-33” has since brought collision risks to other satellites. Over the decades, several countries and companies have launched many satellites, some of which remain in orbit long after they cease to be used. In addition, debris from used rockets and other collision events remains in the sky above the Earth.

Columnist Sarah Scholes said in an article published on the “Koda News” website that in low-Earth orbit, where satellites are closest to the earth, the accumulation of space debris poses a risk of collision, with thousands of Satellites in service must avoid debris and other satellites.

This situation will worsen as space activities increase. Recent attempts by Indian and Russian spacecraft to land on the moon herald a new space race and the possibility of more space debris.

As traffic to active satellites and spacecraft increases, so will space collisions. As the number of active satellites in Earth orbit has increased significantly from about 1,000 in 2009 to about 7,000 currently, space transportation is facing increasingly serious problems.

The risk of satellite collisions in space could cause chaos on Earth. For example, if a GPS satellite collides, the navigation system will no longer exist, and some weapons such as aircraft, drones and even missiles will lose their way. It would also cause confusion for thousands of ships sailing across the Atlantic, which use GPS systems to navigate more efficiently. In addition, the failure of the GPS system will cause other important industries to collapse.

All of this is before taking into account what would happen if a communications satellite stopped working. This will cause chaos in air and sea traffic, and will also affect military activities and external contacts in conflict areas. In addition, critical data for weather forecasting will be lost, which will make it difficult to warn of natural phenomena such as hurricanes. It would also make it difficult to collect information used to combat climate change or other activities such as farming and mining.

After the aforementioned collision of Russian and American satellites, the United States began taking actions to prevent similar incidents from happening again, including cooperating with foreign governments. Currently, there is only a simple regulatory framework in the field of “space traffic management”.

SpaceX is best known for its Starlink satellite network. The company has so far avoided any possible serious collisions thanks to its ability to steer satellites away from potential hazards. However, it has also been involved in dangerous situations known as “crash alerts” on several occasions.

Currently, SpaceX has about 4,000 satellites in orbit, but its ambitions are far from being realized. Its initial plan includes deploying 12,000 satellites, and the final number may reach 42,000.

These satellites provide basic internet and communication services, especially in remote areas and conflict zones.

As SpaceX launches more Starlink satellites, it faces a challenging situation. It is estimated that the company may be involved in as many as 90% of “collision alerts” once the first batch of satellites are deployed.

The dilemma is that while striving to expand the deployment of satellite infrastructure to improve terrestrial connections, this puts those connections at risk. To reduce this risk, international coordination and regulatory frameworks may be needed to ensure harmonious coexistence among satellite constellations without compromising vital services. (Compiled/Tian Ce Selected News/Wang Meng)