On Thursday evening, a defunct Soviet satellite and a deserted Chinese rocket booster have a chance of colliding but could nearly miss each other as well. The space traffic experts are tracing the two objects of orbital garbage that resemble swaying toward each other.
There is no surety if the two pieces will collide or will just miss each other. A California based startup, LeoLabs stated that there is a chance of 10% or more for them to crash. It is using ground-based radars to trace spaceborne objects, and the CEO of LEoLabs Daniel Ceperley said in an interview with CNN that 10% or more has a high chance and this is not uncommon.
The CEO also mentioned that they had seen multiple times dead satellites come within 100 meters of each other at immense speeds. The startup chose to elevate public recognition about this specific event as the two pieces are enormous and possible to formulate a massive debris field if the two objects crash.
The Soviet satellite, approximately 2,000 pounds and 55 feet long was launched in 1989 and was sent to space for navigation, as per an astronomer at Harvard, Jonathan McDowell.
The Chinese rocket booster is a part of a long March launch vehicle which was likely launched in the year 2009 and is smaller in size than Soviet satellite, 20 feet long.
Neither of the pieces is still in use, but both are in a more clean area near to the orbit than usually where the other objects come in contact with each other.
If the satellite and rocket do collide, it would be for the first time in more than a decade that two objects spontaneou