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A dead Soviet satellite and an old rocket booster could collide in space tonight

October 15, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Space traffic experts are tracking two pieces of orbital garbage that appear to be careening toward each other: A defunct Soviet satellite and a discarded Chinese rocket booster that are expected to nearly miss each other — with a slight chance of colliding — Thursday evening.

New York (CNN Business)Space traffic experts are tracking two pieces of orbital garbage that appear to be careening toward each other: A defunct Soviet satellite and a discarded Chinese rocket booster that are expected to nearly miss each other — with a slight chance of colliding — Thursday evening.

The company decided to raise public awareness about this particular event, he said, because the two objects are both large — and likely to create an enormous debris field if they collide — and because they're in an area of orbit that's still relatively clean compared to nearby orbits.

If the rocket and satellite do collide, it would be the first time in more than a decade that two objects spontaneously collided in space — a situation space traffic experts have hoped desperately to avoid.

Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck told CNN Business last month that growing congestion in space is already making it more difficult for his company's rockets to find a clear path to orbit to deliver new satellites.

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