U.S., Russian satellites collide over Siberia

02/12/2009 | Wall Street Journal, The

A disabled Russian military satellite collided with a U.S. commercial satellite on Tuesday, creating a cloud of debris floating nearly 500 miles above Siberia. Though NASA and the Pentagon for years have tracked some 10,000 pieces of space debris, a mid-air collision between two satellites was considered nearly unthinkable. Iridium Satellite LLC, the maker of the U.S. vessel, said the collision will have "minimal impact" on its customers due to backup capabilities provided by the company's fleet of 60-plus satellites.

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