This collision may increase space debris around Earth by 20 per cent

WION Web Team New Delhi Oct 16, 2020, 11.23 AM(IST)

Space debris creates problems for International Space Station and satellites that are still in use Photograph:( AFP )

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If these two objects collide, it will be a first spotaneous collision between pieces of space debris in more than a decade. This collision will, in turn, produce more pieces of space debris and this is what experts fear will increase the amount of space junk around our planet by 10 to 20 per cent

Space debris is a serious issue. Pieces of defunct satellites and remains from previous space missions pose huge threat to satellites that are currently running. Global communication and countless other functions are dependent on these satellites. But a small piece of space debris, measuring even a few inches but moving are super speed can destroy an entire satellite.

According to NASA's estimate, 500,000 pieces of space debris are currently orbitting the Earth. Some of them are even travelling at a mind-boggling speed of 17,500 miles per hour.

And now, this space debris around can increase by 20 per cent!

This is quite possible if a defunct Soviet satellite and a Chinese rocket booster collide with each other. And this is very likely. The collision is feared to take place today (October 16, 2020). There is a likelihood that there will be a near-miss between these two objects. But a collision will mean more space junk around the Earth.

Both of these objects are discarded pieces of high-tech machinery. The Soviet satellite was launched into space in 1989. It weighs 2000 pounds and the Chinese rocket booster was part of a mission in 2009.

If these two objects collide, it will be a first spontaneous collision between pieces of space debris in more than a decade. This collision will, in turn, produce more pieces of such debris and this is what experts fear will increase the amount of space junk around our planet by 10 to 20 per cent.

Fingers crossed!

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