A replica of an Iridium satellite at the National Air & Space Museum.
(Credit: ideonexus, under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license).
A landmark event occurred on this day back in 2009, one that has grim implications for the future of spaceflight. On February 10th around 4:56 PM Universal Time, the defunct Cosmos 2251 satellite collided with the Iridium 33 communications satellite over northern Siberia. The impact occurred at a closing velocity of well over 15,000 miles per hour, and the resulting impact showered Low Earth Orbit (LEO) with thousands of pieces of debris, many of which are still being tracked to this day. [Read more...]