Nasa confirms satellite collision in orbit

Watching brief over first-ever intact spacecraft crash

Two man-made satellites have collided – in what Nasa has termed the first-ever crash between two intact spacecraft in Earth's orbit.

An 'inactive' Russian satellite collided with an Iridium Communications satellite 500 miles above Siberia causing two massive debris clouds.

Nasa is not anticipating delaying the scheduled space shuttle flight, but spokesman Kelly Humphries told PA that the agency is "continuing to analyse any possible risk."

Fifth time unlucky

Although there have been four previous recorded incidents of collisions between objects put into orbit by mankind, this is the first example of intact spacecraft crashing.

Both of the satellites are believed to weigh in excess of 450kgs – and with the speeds involved this could be one of the biggest traffic accidents in Earth's history.

Via PA


Global Editor-in-Chief

Patrick (Twitter) is Global Editor-in-Chief for techradar, and has been with the site since its launch in 2008. He is a longstanding judge of the T3 Awards, been quoted or seen on everything from the The Sun to Sky News and is on the #CoolBrands Council. He started his career in football, making him one of approximately one journalists to have covered both a World Cup final and an iPhone launch.