The accumulation of waste that harms the environment is not only a problem here on Earth, but also a problem in space. Every year more and more neglected rocket stages, broken satellites, and other bits of debris are put into orbit around our planet, and not all of them are properly separated from their orbit. responsible. The result is that there is a large number of unwanted waste floating in space where satellites, telescopes and even the International Space Station orbit.
This debris can pose a real threat to space missions, as was recently shown when an ESA research satellite had to perform an emergency maneuver to avoid hitting an insignificant piece, when there is a lot of debris and the need to perform such maneuvers is common. Relatively unfortunately, this event was different because the European Space Agency only had hours of warning that an impact was imminent.
Large pieces of debris are tracked so that space agencies or other satellite operators know when a piece of debris approaches an orbit that is currently in use. This means they can plan avoidance maneuvers in advance, but when a piece of debris was spotted on June 30 heading towards one of the European Space Agency’s Swarm satellites looking at Earth’s magnetic field, the impact was expected within a few hours, Digitartlends reported.
The European Space Agency said: “The ESA Space Debris Office analyzes data from the US space control network and raises the warning of a potential collision to the ESA flight control and flight dynamics teams, usually more than 24 hours before the piece of debris approaches. From satellite,” “In this case, we only received eight hours’ notice.”
The European Space Agency had to withdraw all stations to clear the satellite of the debris path, because conducting such maneuvers requires a great deal of planning.
Operators must ensure that the satellite’s new orbit does not bring it too close to any other satellites or debris, and they also have to have a plan for how to return the satellite to its original orbit once the danger is over.