by Staff Writers
Moscow (XNA) Aug 30, 2011
The Russian heavy satellite Express-AM4 lost on Aug. 18 might pose a threat to other space vehicles, local media reported Friday.
Citing a source in the space industry, Interfex news agency said the Express-AM4 "will stay on its orbit for years or even for decades."
The Express-AM4 may collide with other telecommunication satellites from Glonass and GPS groups as well as with the Globalstar and Iridium satellites, the source said.
However, the source stressed the lost satellite posed no danger to the International Space Station (ISS) because it had been placed on a higher orbit with the minimum distance from the Earth of 696 km.
Russia's space monitoring system, a subdivision of the Space Forces, is working with the U.S. United Space Operations Center to locate the Express-AM4 positions before further launches of new space vehicles, the source said.
Russian Space Forces have little hope of regaining control of the Express-AM4 because its batteries were discharged soon after it separated from its booster, the source said.
On Aug. 18, a Proton-M carrier rocket failed to deliver communication satellite to its correct orbit.
Source: Xinhua News Agency
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'Housekeeping' could solve space junk mess
Rome (UPI) Aug 9, 2011
The growing problem of space junk orbiting Earth could be tackled by specialized "housekeeping" spacecraft, an Italian researcher has proposed. The process would involve launching a specialized satellite that would rendezvous with the largest examples of space debris, like spent rocket bodies, and attach a small propellant kit that would nudge the junk toward Earth's atmosphere where it ... read more
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