How? Simple, because they launched into those orbits. Why? Well, first, let me explain what their orbits actually are. IRAS (13777) and GGSE-4 (2828) are both in high-inclination orbits, 70° and 99°, respectively. The latter is slightly retrograde, as is common for sun-synchronous orbits. However, to fully understand in what plane they are orbiting, we ...


It turns out it might be very common for astronauts on the ISS (or previously the MIR) to spot satellites. This is the distribution of the number of satellites in LEO for different altitudes As you can see the ISS, with its $\sim 400 \; km$ altitude, is quite safe and alone below the huge carcass of LEO satellites moving around $800 \; km$ (it is also true ...


MSR is one of LeoLab's radar stations (LeoLabs being the people who tweeted about the potential collision, a company whose busines is monitoring satellites). It lives in Midland, Texas, and as such is called the Midland Space Radar. I'm not sure what the contours show, but they're presumably related to the region that the radar can observe.

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