'Space crash can lead to damage of N-powered satellites' | world | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Aug 17, 2017-Thursday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

'Space crash can lead to damage of N-powered satellites'

The debris of US and Russian satellites, which have crashed in space, could damage the Soviet-era spacecraft with nuclear reactors resulting in an orbital 'radiation belt', said a Russian expert commenting on the human history's first "traffic accident".

world Updated: Feb 13, 2009 08:33 IST

The debris of US and Russian satellites, which have crashed in space, could damage the Soviet-era spacecraft with nuclear reactors resulting in an orbital 'radiation belt', said a Russian expert commenting on the human history's first "traffic accident".

According to NASA, Russian Kosmos series 'Strela' military satellite and American 'Iridium' communication satellites collided in space some 800 kilometres above Siberia on Tuesday, creating a massive explosion with much debris scattering through space.

"After the collision, the debris of spacecraft were scattered in all directions including upwards, where old Soviet nuclear powered US-A (Russian abbreviation of 'guided satellite -active') spacecraft for keeping an eye on potential adversary's navy are 'buried'. There is a threat of fragments hitting these spacecraft with nuclear reactors and formation of a belt of radioactive debris," an expert was quoted as saying by Interfax.

There is also a possibility of the debris hitting other "Strela" spacecraft in orbit, the expert speaking to the agency on the conditions of anonymity, did not rule out.

There have been minor collisions in space before, but the scale of this crash is unprecedented, say the experts in Moscow as the satellites -- one weighing about a tonne, the other nearly 600 kilo -- collided at a speed of around 670 km per minute.