Printer Friendly

Pentagon fails to anticipate satellite collision

The Pentagon Pentagon

Huge five-sided building (1941–43) in Arlington, Va., that is the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense. Designed by George Edwin Bergstrom, it was, on its completion, the world's largest office building, covering 34 acres (14 hectares) and offering
 acknowledged Thursday that it did not anticipate the accidental collision in space of a US commercial satellite with a Russian military satellite, the first major event of its kind.

"We did not predict this collision," said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman.

The Bethesda, Maryland-based Iridium iridium (ĭrĭd`ēəm), metallic chemical element; symbol Ir; at. no. 77; at. wt. 192.22; m.p. about 2,410°C;; b.p. about 4,130°C;; sp. gr. 22.55 at 20°C;; valence +3 or +4.  Satellite LLC (Logical Link Control) See "LANs" under data link protocol.

LLC - Logical Link Control
 announced Wednesday it had lost an operational satellite after a collision Tuesday with a dead Russian satellite.

The US Joint Space Operations Center Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) is a command and control (C2) weapon system focused on planning and executing US Strategic Command's Joint Functional Component Command for Space (JFCC SPACE) mission.  tracks about 18,000 objects in orbit, so many that it has to decide which to follow most closely, like the International Space Station or manned space flights.

"There are limits on your ability to track and compute To perform mathematical operations or general computer processing. For an explanation of "The 3 C's," or how the computer processes data, see computer.  every piece of orbiting man made object," said Whitman.

"It's an unfortunate incident that highlights the importance of cooperation and collaboration in space," he said.

Satellites that are "going dead" can be put in a place in space where there is no activity, or maneuvered into a safe descent back to Earth, he said.

But Whitman refrained from accusing the Russians of negligence, saying that some of the procedures for handling dying satellites were introduced long after the satellite's launch in 1993.

He said he had been told that Tuesday's collision was not the first of its kind, adding that "there have been three to four other events."

NASA NASA: see National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
 in full National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Independent U.S.
 spokesman John Yembrick said there have been "three other cases in which space objects orbiting at hypervelocity have collided accidentally."

However, the US space agency spokesman added that "these were all minor events involving spent rockets or small satellites with only a few pieces of resulting debris."
Copyright 2009 AFP American Edition
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright (c) Mochila, Inc.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:AFP American Edition
Date:Feb 12, 2009
Previous Article:On maiden mission, Clinton bows to Asia's new power
Next Article:Steward says one-year ban too harsh on Margarito

Related Articles
Eye on Iraq: local firm captures satellite images of war.
Spinning a direct hit.
Intercepting satellites: a comparison of the Chinese and US actions.
Bad weather threatens to delay US shot at satellite
US military surprised by speed, timing of Russia military action
Satellite collision threatens space assets
Satellite collision threatens space assets

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters