US satellite threatens other spacecraft, Russian scientists warn — Analysis

Russian scientists said Saturday that a satellite from the United States is in danger of disintegrating in orbit. This could pose a threat to other spacecraft that circle Earth.

The craft in question is the US geostationary communications satellite Galaxy 11, operated by satellite services company Intelsat, according to the Moscow-based Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics at Russia’s Academy of Sciences. This satellite had originally been launched to provide a backup to Intelsat 802’s satellite.

The scientists stated that several fragments small in size from Galaxy 11 have been observed by telescopes and could pose a danger to satellites on orbit.

Keldysh Institute suggested that while the reasons behind the destruction of the spacecraft are not currently known, they could have to do with the ageing of thermal insulation, solar panel or other equipment.

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