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The Collision of Iridium 33 and Cosmos 2251: The Shape of Things to ComeThe collision of Iridium 33 and Cosmos 2251 was the most severe accidental fragmentation on record. More than 1800 debris approx. 10 cm and larger were produced. If solar activity returns to normal, half of the tracked debris will reenter within five years. Less than 60 cataloged debris had reentered by 1 October 2009. Some debris from both satellites will remain in orbit through the end of the century. The collision rate of one every five years will increase without future removal of large derelict spacecraft and launch vehicle orbital stages.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Nicholas, Johnson
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
October 16, 2009
Subject Category
Space Sciences (General)
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: 60th International Astronautical Congress
Location: Seoul
Country: Korea, Republic of
Start Date: October 16, 2009
End Date: October 19, 2009
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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