Russian Satellite Failure Caused By Space Garbage
The cause of the March 29 failure of the Russian Ekspress AM11 communications satellite has been confirmed as a collision with space trash, a Russian official told the state Novosti new agency Monday.
"The Ekspress AM11 satellite accident occurred when the spacecraft collided with space garbage," said Yury Izmailov, acting general director of the Russian Satellite Communications Company. "As a result, the satellite left its orbit and started spinning."
The event interrupted broadcasts in Russia's Far East for a short time.
The satellite, equipped with 30 transponders with total capacity of 2,000 W, was put into geostationary orbit at 96.5 degrees East on April 27, 2004. It was built jointly with France's Alcatel Space and Sodern, with some equipment made in Germany and Japan. The spacecraft had been scheduled to remain in orbit at least 12 years.
Izmailov said the spacecraft had been moved to a disposal orbit.
Copyright 2006 by Space Daily, Distributed United Press International