Thursday, January 18, 2007

Chinese Anti-Satellite test?

Arms Control Wonk is passing a rumor, which Aviation Week and Space Technology will also run a story on January 22nd, that the Chinese launched a missile and successfully destroyed one of their own weather satellites. Destroying a satellite in such a manner should leave a rather dangerous cloud of debris that can affect other satellites in orbit for years.

If you are looking for the orbit data, look for Fengyun 1C instead of FY-1C.


David Syzdek said...

Hmmm. Heaven's-Above or not, I don't think we'll be seeing the Fengyun 1C satellite passing overhead ever again. CNN is reporting that it was destroyed by the Chinese. Furthermore, it was in a fairly high orbit so the many pieces will be up for a long time endangering other satellites. I wonder what the Chinese are up to with such a reckless test. Why couldn't they test against a low earth satellite where drag will remove the debris from orbit?

Dean W. Armstrong said...

From this graph, debris will take hundreds of years to re-enter. The perigee of the satellite was 860km.