Russian scientists issue warning about US satellite
An American satellite is partially disintegrating in orbit, endangering other spacecraft circling Earth, Russian scientists warned on Saturday.
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. It had been launched in 1999 as a backup for the Intelsat 802 satellite.
Telescopes have been following several small-sized fragments that detached from Galaxy 11 and now pose a potential threat for other satellites in orbit, the scientists said.
The Keldysh Institute said that the exact reasons for the disintegration of the spacecraft were currently unknown, but suggested that it could be the result of the aging of its thermal insulation, solar panels or other equipment.