I know about the Iridum-33 and Kosmos-2251 collision, but has there been any collision between active spacecrafts? Any claim regarding the same?

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    $\begingroup$ I would define satellites as spacecraft. Since you apparently don't, what is your definition of a spacecraft? $\endgroup$
    – user8406
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 12:08
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    $\begingroup$ I think the distinction that the OP was trying to draw is that Kosmos-2251 had been out of service and deactivated for ~14 years according to the Wikipedia article, and so the OP might consider it to be more debris and less "active" spacecraft. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 14:48
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    $\begingroup$ Well, every docking is a controlled collision. $\endgroup$
    – Mark Adler
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ andy256, I meant that Kosmos had been out of service, exactly what Dough McClean says. @Mark Adler: collision between spacecrafts, Sir. $\endgroup$
    – anon
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 9:55
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    $\begingroup$ Dockings in space are between spacecraft. $\endgroup$
    – Mark Adler
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 16:00

2 Answers 2


Progress M-34 collided with Mir in 1997. Caused a leak in a module.

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    $\begingroup$ I want to link to this this 8 minute video about that event. "They switched the radar off". "Aiming laser rangers through the portholes" $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 11:48
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    $\begingroup$ Colloquially known as the MRV. That was supposed to stand for Mir Rendezvous Vehicle, but it turned out to stand for Mir Ramming Vehicle. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 16:58
  • $\begingroup$ @LocalFluff Holy crap that's dramatic — and then it ends abruptly. Do you know what that clip is from and where one might find more? $\endgroup$
    – mattdm
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 21:44
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    $\begingroup$ @mattdm I just "googled it" on the youtube, I have no idea where it comes from. It was made before moving pictures became readily available on the internet. It is of course partially dramatized. There's no actual photo of the Progress ramming the Mir, they photoshopped those scenes. The part with the astro/cosmonauts floating in a space station without any electricity, and thus without any light or noise, is interesting. Maybe the most near-space experience anyone has had. Maybe more so than anyone in a spacesuit. $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 21:59
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    $\begingroup$ @mattdm On the source, "Horizons" is mentioned, and it seems to have been a UK TV channel, fits the accent too. The astronauts and cosmonauts involved have likely talked more about it in public. This must've been the nearest to death experience in in-space flight (while not starting or landing), except for the Soyuz 11 back in 1971 and in competition with Apollo 13. Though some early spaceflight might be considered a serious hazard by today's standards. $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 11:36

DART, or Demonstration for Autonomous Rendezvous Technology, had a low speed collision with MUBLCOM arising from a problematic autonomous rendezvous manoeuvre. The following details are only from Wiki

The two satellites were launched separately. Both were US owned satellites, MUBLCOM being owned by DARPA, DART by NASA. The collision apparently occurred at about 1.5 m/s ( ~ 3 miles per hour), DART had a mass of 360kg and MUBLCOM about 50kg and the satellites both apparebtly survived the event without damage though other factors lead to the rendezvous manoeuvres being abandoned.

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    $\begingroup$ Here's a reference you could put in: nasa.gov/pdf/148072main_DART_mishap_overview.pdf Nice addition to the answers. $\endgroup$
    – kim holder
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 22:30
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    $\begingroup$ Or maybe this one is better, it links to that report but has other links, and is integrated into the NASA website, and has a nice brief summary - nasa.gov/mission_pages/dart/main $\endgroup$
    – kim holder
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 22:34
  • $\begingroup$ @ kim holder Very interesting, thank you. Ironically it appears to show that "bearings only" navigation was very effective in this case in closing in on the target! $\endgroup$
    – Puffin
    Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 23:21

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