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Space Collisions Alert: Chinese Satellite and Russian Rocket

A major event in space that went "under the radar" last week.

On March 18th, Chinese military satellite Yunhai 1-02 broke up, apparently from a dysfunction or an explosion. But last Saturday, SpaceTrack updated the information about Yunhai 1-02 to "collided with other satellite". A little analysis shows that the secondary object involved is a Russian rocket debris from a Zenit-2 launched in September 1996, registered with NORAD 48078.

This is the first confirmed collision between an active satellite and a debris since the 2009 one between a defunct Russian military spacecraft, Kosmos-2251, and the active communication satellite Iridium 33.

The growing orbital population will make this kind of events more and more common in the future, and it represents a major threat for the overall Sustainability of orbital activities. Improving the tracking of space debris is crucial to reduce this risk.

Please refer to this article for additional information.

Share My Space is developing a new generation of telescope stations (MTOS) to detect debris as small as 5cm currently untracked, to improve space situational awareness and satellites safety.