Russian space agency Roscosmos announced last Sunday (10) that the rocket tanks responsible for transporting a scientific satellite in 2011 disintegrated in Earth’s orbit over the Indian Ocean. According to the 18th United States Air Force Space Control Squadron, there are no indications that the event occurred due to collisions.
Now, about 65 pieces associated with the equipment are being tracked, since, according to scientists, even seemingly small pieces of space debris can cause real disasters, given the high speed with which they move. This includes damage to satellites and spacecraft, putting national security operations at risk, and even danger on the ground, which can reach humans.
“The collapse happened on May 8, 2020, between 2 am and 3 am [Brasília time]. At the moment, we are dedicated to collecting data to confirm the amount of fragments left by the rocket ”, says the note from the Russian agency.
The debris joined the more than 500,000 objects tracked by NASA’s Orbital Debris Program Office, with more than 100 million of them orbiting the planet, measuring a millimeter or less.
In 2011, the rocket took the Spektr-R, a radio telescope that stopped responding to ground commands in January last year, and which, in July 2019, was replaced by the Spektr-RG, in a partnership between Russia and the Germany.