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