US satellite orbiting Earth for more than 20 years has partially disintegrated, Russian scientists warn

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US satellite orbiting Earth for more than 20 years has partially disintegrated, Russian scientists warn

US satellite orbiting Earth for more than 20 years has partially disintegrated, Russian scientists warn

A US geostationary communications satellite called Galaxy 11 was launched in late 1999 and is operated by Intelsat. It is positioned as a backup for the… 11.09.2022, Sputnik International

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Russian scientists at the Moscow-based Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences said on Saturday that a US satellite is partially dissolving into orbit, endangering other spacecraft in orbit. Several small particles that broke off from Galaxy 11 have been tracked by telescopes and may now pose a danger to other spacecraft orbiting Earth, researchers said. The Keldysh Institute stated that while the exact causes of the spacecraft’s breakup are still unknown, they may be related to the deterioration of thermal insulation, solar panels or other hardware. Based on the HS-702 satellite bus, Galaxy 11 was created by Hughes Space and Communications for PanAmSat. It weighed 4,477 kilograms (9,870 pounds) at launch and carries 40 J-band (IEEE C and Ku bands, respectively) and 24 G/H band (IEEE C and H bands) transponders. The expected operational life was 15 years, according to publicly available data. The latest comes as the United States plans to table a resolution to the UN General Assembly calling on other countries to pledge not to conduct anti-satellite missile tests, Vice President Kamala Harris said on Friday. “In April, I announced that our nation would not test destructive, direct descent, anti-satellite missiles, and later this month the United States will table a resolution to the United Nations General Assembly asking other countries to make the same commitment.” Harris said during comments at the Johnson Space Center.

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A US geostationary communications satellite called Galaxy 11 was launched in late 1999 and is operated by Intelsat. It is positioned as a backup for the Intelsat 802 spacecraft in geostationary orbit where it served as a communications hub for North America and Brazil.

Russian scientists at the Moscow-based Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences said on Saturday that a US satellite is partially dissolving into orbit, endangering other spacecraft in orbit.

Several small particles that broke off from Galaxy 11 have been tracked by telescopes and may now pose a danger to other spacecraft orbiting Earth, researchers said.

“Partial destruction of the old (launched 1999) Galaxy 11 telecommunications device occurred in geostationary orbit,” the institute said in a Telegram message.

The Keldysh Institute stated that while the exact causes of the spacecraft’s breakup are still unknown, they may be related to the deterioration of thermal insulation, solar panels or other hardware.

Galaxy 11 is based on the HS-702 satellite bus and was created by Hughes Space and Communications for PanAmSat. It weighed 4,477 kilograms (9,870 pounds) at launch and carries 40 J-band (IEEE C and Ku bands, respectively) and 24 G/H band (IEEE C and H bands) transponders. According to public data, the expected operational life was 15 years.

The latest comes as the United States plans to table a resolution to the UN General Assembly calling on other countries to pledge not to conduct anti-satellite missile tests, Vice President Kamala Harris said Friday.

“In April, I announced that our nation would not test destructive, direct descent, anti-satellite missiles, and later this month the United States will table a resolution to the United Nations General Assembly calling on other countries to share the same commitment.” Harris said during comments at the Johnson Space Center.

The moon can be seen behind a tracking antenna at the Indian Space Research Organization's Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network facility in Bangalore, India, late Friday, September 6, 2019. - Sputnik International, 1920, 08/05/2022

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