Chinese Space Debris Hits Russian Satellite, Scientists Say
A piece of space debris left over from a 2007 Chinese missile test collided with a Russian satellite earlier this year, rendering the satellite unusable, a researcher said Saturday.
The collision appears to have happened January 22. That’s when it’s thought a piece of the Feng Yun 1C weather satellite, which was destroyed in the 2007 missile test, accidentally hit the Russian satellite, said T.S. Kelso, a senior research astrodynamicist at the Center for Space Standards & Innovation.
The collision changed the orientation and orbit of the Russian satellite, which was being used in scientific experiments, Kelso said. It may have also damaged it.
“There has been a piece of debris catalogued by U.S. Strategic Command as a result of that collision,” Kelso said. “That would suggest that at least a part of the satellite broke off because of the collision.”