US satellite being raced out?

US satellite being raced out of orbit thanks to risk of imminent EXPLOSION which can damage neighboring space tech


The US Spaceway-1 broadcast satellite is being speedily removed of orbit amid fears that it could wipe out nearby space technology if a devastating battery malfunction causes it to explode.
DirecTV, which owns the spacecraft, told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that the defect is so severe that it doesn't have time to deplete the satellite’s fuel before steering it deep into space to safely explode.
The AT&T owned company says it'll boost Spaceway-1 300 kilometers above the geostationary arc, the world of space where most of the world’s large communications satellites reside, to ensure there’s no collateral damage, SpaceNews reports. 

DirecTV already switched the faulty batteries off and therefore the satellite has been operating on power generated by its solar panels. However, next month will see it undergo Earth’s shadow, where batteries are going to be its only power source, so it's being sent where satellites attend die.

The Boeing manufactured satellite was embarked on orbit in 2005 with the assistance of the Russian-Ukrainian Zenit-3SL launch vehicle as a part of the ocean Launch project. It was designed to last 12 years and it comfortably fulfilled that criteria before an unexplained anomaly caused “significant and irreversible thermal damage” to its batteries.

DirecTV explained in an FCC filing that the batteries are at high risk of bursting if recharged. “The risk of a catastrophic battery failure makes it urgent that Spaceway-1 be fully de-orbited and decommissioned before the February 25th start of eclipse season,” the corporate said.

Before the battery issue emerged, the corporate had estimated that the satellite had enough fuel onboard to remain in commission until 2025. It is now decommissioning the satellite prior “to limit the danger of an accidental explosion.”

DirecTV said that no customers would be suffering from Spaceway-1’s failure because it's a back-up satellite.
If a disastrous space junk chain reaction finishes up surrounding Earth with a belt of destructive shrapnel, state-of-the-art infrared cameras and gel-based rockets just might help future satellites dodge such debris, a new study finds.

Space debris won't sound dangerous until one realizes that in low Earth orbit — up to about 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) in altitude — such debris collides with an average speed of about 22,370 mph (36,000 km/h), consistent with NASA. At such speeds, even tiny pieces of space debris can inflict devastating damage.


Collisions with space debris have already led to millions of dollars in losses. For example, on Feb. 10, 2009, an active U.S. communications satellite called Iridium 33 was obliterated when it had been struck by a defunct Russian satellite Cosmos 2251 inbuilt the 1960s.

In addition, such disasters can generate more debris that would continue to destroy more objects in orbit, a cascade of destruction which may ultimately create a debris belt around Earth. This worst-case chain-reaction scenario is understood because the "Kessler effect" or "Kessler syndrome," a scenario that NASA scientist Donald Kessler predicted in 1978.

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