Thursday, February 12, 2009

What are the chances?

Just a tiny fraction of a second difference, a couple feet or a tiny thruster nudge and the Iridium could have avoided the speeding Russian satellite carcass. Almost like standing on the sidewalk waiting to cross the street when flock of seagulls fly over you. Yeah, that happened to me yesterday and I was watching them in case I had to step to the side to avoid getting splattered.
Anyway, this picture shows the paths of the international incident between the US and Russian spacecraft. You know what they always say about crossing railroad tracks trying to beat a train through an intersection. Whack!

UPDATE: More information just keeps showing up about this. I just came across a video simulation of the collision. If this was cloud from a volcanic eruption (Google Alaska's Mt Redoubt) we would be getting some pretty sunsets! The chunks are most likely too small to be seen from the ground though, but who knows?

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