Science fiction becomes reality

There are some stories in science fiction that are not too far from reality.

First Americans started working on and destroyed satellite with Anti-Satellite missile. Of course, that was cold war era, USSR followed same foot steps. In 2007, China made history by destroying its non-functional weather satellite with Anti-Satellite missile. All these incidents spread lots of space debris in orbit. In each incident, all parties tried to defame each other for their actions.

In 2009, another science fiction becomes reality, two satellites collided in space. Couple of days back, when I read that news, I was like "wow, these things can happen even with so many men and computers working with calculated orbits and paths etc. etc."

Non-functional Russian satellite collided with functional American satellite. Creating lots of space debris in orbit. These debris is threat to other close satellites, Space Station, and next space mission (have to delay that).

Get more details from following links:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7885051.stm

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/TECH/02/12/us.russia.satellite.crash/index.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_satellite_collision

What do you guys think of this incident?

Was it the cold-war era's revenge, or cow-boy style 'test', or sheer accident written by fate (as it could be known for a time by pre-calculating their path)?

Looking forward for your thoughts.

P.S. I hope that discussing technology in tech. forums is OK :)

Certain military satellites aren't declared. Due to that collision may occur.

thanx God the collision wasn't between satellites having nuclear warheads

[quote=“wampyr, post:, topic:”]

In 2009, another science fiction becomes reality, two satellites collided in space. Couple of days back, when I read that news, I was like “wow, these things can happen even with so many men and computers working with calculated orbits and paths etc. etc.”
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To err is human, to BSOD is computer. :P

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

thanx God the collision wasn’t between satellites having nuclear warheads
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Indeed, not only active nuclear material (in form of space debris) will create problems for communication satellites (due to high level of radiation) but also to living being on surface of earth.

And then just imagine, after some months or years, that active nuclear material re-enter earth atmosphere. It will burn and turn into fine powder-type mist and spread over large area. Just imagine the horror that if that is densely populated area (like modern cities). There may not be quick death, but resultant will be more deadlier than a dirty bomb.

Horrible way to die. Not only current generation will pay the price but the coming generations (birth defects and genes alterations).

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

And then just imagine, after some months or years, that active nuclear material re-enter earth atmosphere. It will burn and turn into fine powder-type mist and spread over large area. Just imagine the horror that if that is densely populated area (like modern cities). There may not be quick death, but resultant will be more deadlier than a dirty bomb.

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There are “dirty” bombs. There will be filthy bombs like those you mention. :)

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

There are “dirty” bombs. There will be filthy bombs like those you mention. :)
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True, very true, the term “filthy bombs” is indeed gets fit here.

With so many undocumented military and spy satellites along with cold-war era satellites with nuclear missiles in them. They are just ticking time-bombs. With censorship by developed countries, people won’t even know what hit them (in case of filthy bombs or active nuclear particles over large portion of area).

That would be like - you are having a romantic walk with your GF and death coming from sky and kills you both :P Is there a movie on this topic?

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That would be like - you are having a romantic walk with your GF and death coming from sky and kills you both :P Is there a movie on this topic?
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lets make it :P

it takes me 8 year back, when in first semester while studying about satellites i asked from the teacher (ex director SUPARCO), "why these thousands of satellites don't collide?" He said there is probability calculations in place. So these probability calculations have turned wrong.

the ex director came up with a stupid answer. The path ways are pre-calculated and are very very very accurate.

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the ex director came up with a stupid answer. The path ways are pre-calculated and are very very very accurate.
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right but they can’t be sure if a certain path will never intersect with some other path. There are thousands of satellites

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right but they can’t be sure if a certain path will never intersect with some other path. There are thousands of satellites

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A computer simulation model can easily track and predict paths of satellite (without natural disasters/intervention like comets). I believe NASA has similar or more advance computer models.

On the other hands we have hypothesis like Ablation Cascade and Kessler Syndrome in which a catastrophic event destroy all satellites with dominoes effect creating so much space debris that there will be no room for new satellites for years to come.

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

right but they can’t be sure if a certain path will never intersect with some other path. There are thousands of satellites

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they have real precise atomic clocks to measure distances among each other, there is no way they can collide. There is a whole lot of research before they launch a satellite in space plus they can change the direction when required. Space science is so kool :)

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090218.html

Interesting tidbit about the dispersing debris (inset image with red) and the possibility of a future significant collision sparking "ablation cascade".

(btw http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ gives an astronomy pic + explanation updated daily; for astronomy enthusiasts)