Satellite-tracking company LeoLabs said Wednesday that the faulty objects could come within 39 feet of each other and there was a 10% chance they would still reach 8:56 p.m. Can collide around. The company considered the potential crash a “very high risk.”
Leo Labs tweeted, “This event remains very risky and will likely remain so in the near future.”
Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said the two objects were Soviet navigation satellites called Paras. [Kosmos 2004] Which launched in 1989 and a Chinese rocket stage.
As of Tuesday, objects with a mass of about three metric tons were in low-earth orbit at an altitude of about 615 miles, Leo Labs said.
Because objects are high above the ground, they pose no risk to anyone on earth. However, a crash could cause more debris in the Earth’s orbit, increasing the risk of future collisions.
Debris can also threaten astronauts.
“If it turns into a collision, it could be thousands to thousands of new pieces of debris causing headaches for any satellite moving in or out of the upper low-earth orbit,” he said. According to Dan Sapperley, CEO of Leo Labs Commercial interior. “It’s probably a bigger problem than most people realize.”
As of February this year, there are 128 million wreckage items in the bit rabbit European Space Agency. Roughly 34,000 of them are more than 10 centimeters long.