Questions tagged [impact]

Questions regarding the collision of one thing with another

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8 votes
3 answers
174 views

How often do active satellites have to change course to avoid other active satellites?

I'm only aware of the ESA and SpaceX incident in 2019. Does this happen more regularly especially now with more active Starlink satellites and other constellations? More importantly, are there efforts ...
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3 votes
0 answers
63 views

Is the impact of Chang’e 5-T1 rocket stage on the Moon's far side on March 4th likely to launch any debris into Moon or Earth orbit?

It is predicted that the Chang’e 5-T1 rocket stage will impact the Moon's far side on March 4th. The stage apparently weighs about 4 tonnes and will impact at 2.5 km/s at a shallow angle. There's ...
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3 votes
2 answers
211 views

Can we watch the object move towards the Moon and hit it this week at home? Will there be live telescope feeds?

I'm not even going to name the object because there's been some variability and excitement in its identification (DSCOVR 2nd stage, no not DSCOVR, it's Chinese, no not that Chinse rocket body, this ...
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4 votes
1 answer
756 views

Where will the March 4, 2022 impactor hit the Moon? Will it be visible from Earth?

Wikipedia's LCROSS says: Centaur impacted successfully on October 9, 2009, at 11:31 UTC. The Shepherding Spacecraft descended through Centaur's ejectate plume, collected and relayed data, impacting ...
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13 votes
1 answer
2k views

BBC: "In 2009 Prof McDowell & other astronomers performed an experiment in which a similar-sized rocket was crashed into the Moon." Really? Which one?

The line following the title of BBC's Elon Musk SpaceX rocket on collision course with moon reads: A rocket launched by Elon Musk's space exploration company is on course to crash into the Moon and ...
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24 votes
5 answers
7k views

BBC: "A rocket launched by Elon Musk's space exploration company is on course to crash into the Moon and explode." Will it really explode?

The line following the title of BBC's Elon Musk SpaceX rocket on collision course with moon reads: A rocket launched by Elon Musk's space exploration company is on course to crash into the Moon and ...
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2 votes
0 answers
60 views

How deep does impact heating penetrate?

Let's say I find a cold rocky body with no atmosphere, and I bombard its surface with breathable air, thus converting the gas's GPE into heat. This will warm the body somewhat (and might initiate ...
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3 votes
4 answers
1k views

How can we avoid collisions when moving from one orbit to another?

Imagine that my ship is parked in LEO and needs to transfer to a higher orbit. It makes a Hohmann transfer and flies to the needed orbit by an elliptical trajectory. But this trajectory is crossing a ...
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1 vote
1 answer
162 views

What are these squiggly lines in Jonathan McDowell's tweets about Yunhai-1?

Anton Petrov's new video Another Satellite Collided in Space, But Everyone Missed It Until Now (below) is fun to watch, and links to Jonathan McDowell's tweet string which begins Space-Track catalog ...
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1 vote
0 answers
60 views

Was CloudSat hit by debris? If so, when, how bad was it, and where was it reported?

Anton Petrov's new video Another Satellite Collided in Space, But Everyone Missed It Until Now (below) is fun to watch, and links to Jonathan McDowell's tweet string which begins Space-Track catalog ...
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2 votes
0 answers
51 views

Has there been any bolide-spacecraft near-miss?

Has there been any incident where a reentering spacecraft nearly collided with a meteor?
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4 votes
1 answer
263 views

How much could a full-blown Starlink constellation contribute to a future Kessler scenario? What would be the worst-case scenario?

Discussions in comments below this answer to What is the biggest satellite constellation in space right now? have touched on risk vs reward and the Kessler Syndrome in the context of full-blown ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Puzzler: Why higher solar phase angle (SPA) allows for many more feasible FastKD (kinetic deflection) communications satellite “hijacking” missions?

Space.com's advert-laden Repurposed communications satellites could help save humanity from an asteroid impact ends with: The study results were presented at the Planetary Defence (sic) Conference ...
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2 votes
0 answers
80 views

Is there an estimate for the average mass of all meteoroids and asteroids hitting Earth's atmosphere in one year?

I wonder how much mass is entering Earth's atmosphere every year in the form of meteoroids and asteroids. This excludes micro-meteoroids, dust particles, molecules etc. Quick search result talks only ...
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6 votes
3 answers
272 views

How much more likely is it for a colony on Mars to receive a damaging meteorite hit than a similar structure on Earth?

Meteorite damage probability is low both on Mars and Earth, but Earth has a thick atmosphere, which Mars does not. The thinner atmosphere on Mars should yield some increase of impact probability. Is ...
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1 vote
0 answers
69 views

Would detonating a powerful nuke on the Moon really cause a Richter 7 moonquake? Do we know enough about the moon to predict this?

A recent episode of Kurzgesagt explores the consequences of exploding a hydrogen bomb on/near the surface of the moon. At 3:48 they consider the resulting moonquake, saying it's comparable to a ...
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6 votes
2 answers
197 views

Legality of nuclear debris field on the Moon?

A while ago, I asked about what happens to a nuclear engine that gets smashed into the Moon. While not conclusively answered, it's likely that the contaminated area would be of significant size. But ...
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8 votes
1 answer
86 views

Increase in period and semi-major axis following near head-on collision between Cerise and Ariane debris (1996)

This report describes the collision of the French satellite Cerise with a piece of Ariane rocket debris (object no. 18208) in 1996: http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?...
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5 votes
1 answer
155 views

Do space organisations take the positions of space junk and satellites into account when launching?

There are so many satellites orbiting Earth now at various altitudes and there is quite a lot of space junk floating around as well. Now although there are so many satellites and so much junk up ...
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35 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why are there mountains/mounds in the centre of craters on the lunar surface?

From clear images of moon's surface we can see many of the craters have small mountains/mounds (or montes) in the centre. So, what is the mechanism behind the formation of these mountains and which ...
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5 votes
1 answer
213 views

How many times were things crashed into the Moon "for science" (seismic events)?

This answer to Did Apollo 13 produce any scientific results? begins: In addition to crashing the Saturn V's S-IVB into the moon to collect seismic data from sensors installed by the crews of Apollo ...
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1 vote
0 answers
29 views

Frequency of asteroid impacts on Ceres?

Are there estimates of asteroid impact frequency on Ceres? I'm looking for a graph that plots time between impacts against size of the impactor. Thanks!
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53 votes
5 answers
15k views

Does NASA have an end-of-the-world policy?

If an asteroid were detected, shooting towards earth with enough speed and certainty that it would all but guarantee a sequel of the end of the dinosaurs. Observatories and space agencies would almost ...
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3 votes
1 answer
507 views

What does "MSR" represent in the context of this predicted satellite conjunction?

In a series of four tweets starting with this one (found in 2 satellites will narrowly avoid colliding at 32,800 mph over Pittsburgh on Wednesday) 1/ We are monitoring a close approach event ...
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24 votes
1 answer
5k views

How did two satellites end up in almost the same orbit except moving in opposite directions?

In a series of four tweets starting with this one (found in 2 satellites will narrowly avoid colliding at 32,800 mph over Pittsburgh on Wednesday) 1/ We are monitoring a close approach event ...
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4 votes
1 answer
535 views

How big an asteroid could we take out with an ICBM?

Obviously it's not going to be all that big as the intercept would occur only a few minutes before impact and the rubble is still going to hit. However, if the pieces are small enough they go boom in ...
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2 votes
1 answer
155 views

Are there any specific plans for how to deal with near-Earth comets? If not, should there be?

You hear a lot about how NASA, ESA and other space agencies are taking action to catalogue asteroids that might one day collide with us, but also figure out how to avert such a catastrophe if one day ...
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3 votes
1 answer
110 views

Are there any equations out there that can calculate the burnup of an asteroid depending on angle?

Are there any equations that can calculate the burnup of an asteroid depending on the angle? I want to be able to calculate the magnitude of an asteroid impact with the angle being the changeable ...
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15 votes
1 answer
2k views

How many satellites can stay in a Lagrange point?

Lagrange points as I understand it are points in space between 2 objects where the gravitational pull between them is effectively equal. That makes station keeping at these points relatively easy. ...
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5 votes
1 answer
176 views

Is deformation of the impact attenuation system visible on the surviving Apollo command modules?

As pointed out in this question, the Apollo command module had crushable ribs along one edge of the base of the cone, and crushable struts that suspended the crew couches inside the vehicle. I've ...
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2 votes
2 answers
315 views

Do the velocities of orbital debris have a bias in the direction of Earth's rotation?

Most spacecraft are launched and orbit prograde -- in the same direction that the Earth rotates -- to give a "speed boost" to get to orbital velocity. One would therefore expect that the trajectories ...
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1 vote
1 answer
130 views

How did fictional asteroid 2019 PDC get its name?

Gizmodo's NASA and FEMA Will Simulate an Impending Asteroid Strike Next Week The hypothetical discovery takes place in 2019, but what does "PDC" stand for? Perhaps it is another "discovery" by the ...
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  • 148k
1 vote
1 answer
174 views

Why does this satellite collision debris field look like a big "X"?

This answer to the question Whats the protocol if two satellites collide? shows the image below, and I don't understand the shape. I would have expected two "jets" of debris, each projecting roughly ...
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3 votes
1 answer
177 views

Could a satellite in GEO-orbit make an evasive maneuver to avoid an anti-satellite impactor?

Communication satellites orbit at an altitude a couple of hundred times above the satellite that the Indian government recently shot down. Also GPS-satellites are about one hundred times further up ...
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5 votes
1 answer
198 views

What are the chances a space probe will make it to another star without hitting a bit of space dust?

tl;dr: What is the density of "space dust" or micrometeorites in interstellar space, and how likely is it that a tiny interstellar craft could avoid hitting any? In a future time we will likely ...
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75 votes
9 answers
26k views

A starship is traveling at 0.9c and collides with a small rock. Will it leave a clean hole through, or will more happen?

Say there is a football sized rock in the path of the ship. Will it create a football sized hole through the ship in the blink of an eye, or will more happen? The ship would be filled with metal, ...
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2 votes
1 answer
211 views

Highest velocity impact between a spacecraft and a solar system body? What about for a dedicated impactor (spacecraft component)?

In this answer I mention the proposed impact of DART: Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission Double Asteroid Redirection Test The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Element of the ...
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2 votes
0 answers
260 views

Use of thrusters for Collision Avoidance Maneuver

I'm building an orbit propagator that gives the position of two satellites at time T. The position are expressed in ECI and after that are being transformed in LVLH frame (as mentioned ECI to LVLH ...
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11 votes
1 answer
308 views

Asteroid impact on the Moon: which effects cause the flash?

It is most likely that there was an impact on the Moon during yesterday's lunar eclipse. I am trying to get some more understanding of this so that I could maybe do a more detailed video on this ...
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21 votes
1 answer
5k views

If a Voyager crashes into something, would we know?

A recent question asked about the feasibility of using Voyager 2 to detect objects in the Oort cloud. The answers indicate, among other issues, the instruments on-board the Voyagers would likely be ...
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4 votes
1 answer
226 views

What prevents all these man-made objects flying in space from colliding with each other?

Does NASA know the location of every object in orbit and they calculate satellite and shuttle launches around not hitting these objects or are they just rolling the dice that the probability of ...
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2 votes
3 answers
147 views

Feasible way to detect masses without natural light in deep space?

While I was perusing the entries here on energy sources for interstellar travel, it occurred to me that a problem accompanying a low energy density in space distant from stars is darkness. Is there a ...
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4 votes
0 answers
262 views

Do we have a photo of a micrometeorite impact on a lens?

Micrometeorite and debris impacts on orbital spacecraft pose a threat to systems and crew. For example, a high velocity impact caused this chip in the International Space Station's Cupola. The ISS ...
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5 votes
1 answer
148 views

How is stability of Geosynchronous Orbits (GSO) affected by Earth’s mass?

I'm researching stable orbits slightly beyond GSO and I need to find out how close to GSO I could place an object without risking collision. If the Earth was homogeneous the altitude should be the ...
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9 votes
1 answer
418 views

What just happened? What does this satellite breakup announcement mean? What does it suggest?

I logged into Space-Track and immediately saw this message: The 18th Space Control Squadron has confirmed the breakup of SL-12 R/B(AUX MOTOR), #36407. The time of breakup was at approximately 0206z,...
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  • 148k
3 votes
0 answers
92 views

What information exactly was necessary to determine and announce this "debris causing event"?

A 1:53 PM - 19 Jul 2016 tweet from the twitter account @18SPCS said: 19 Jul: JSpOC ID’d debris causing event related to @DigitalGlobe WorldView-2; 8 debris pieces but WV2 confirmed operational & ...
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3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is Starman/Roadster in any danger in the asteroid belt?

Elon tweeted that Starman's trajectory is going to overshoot Mar's orbit and bring it close to the asteroid belt. Does this mean that Starman is in danger of being crushed by an asteroid??
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76 votes
6 answers
26k views

Is the SpaceX Falcon Heavy payload (a Tesla car) space junk?

Yesterday SpaceX succeeded in the first Falcon Heavy launch, but the payload, a Tesla car has no real useful purpose (except for company prestige). Thus, can it be considered as space junk ? How long ...
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2 votes
1 answer
242 views

How predictable is one asteroid's trajectory?

If one fictitious probe mission was to impact an asteroid fast enough to destroy it using its kinetic energy, could the asteroid's trajectory be predicted accurately enough (plumes or emanations or ...
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  • 3,649
8 votes
2 answers
461 views

How can debris from an impact escape to a stable orbit?

Please help me understand: As far as I understand it, when an object gets thrown off the surface of a planet by an impact and doesn't reach escape velocity it is on a suborbital trajectory and ...
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