Air Force Space Command confirms: A “catastrophic event” came after “a sudden spike in temperature” was detected
That’s the headline circulating today in Space news. Apparently an unexplained spike in temperature caused the aging military satellite to explode, sending burning chunks into our atmosphere.
The satellite known as DMSP-F13 was part of the military’s secret weather satellite program which had been in orbit since the mid 1990s.
A US military satellite exploded after detecting an unexplained “sudden spike in temperature”, sending dozens of chunks of debris tumbling into different orbits around Earth.
Civilian company CelesTrak was first to notice the explosion of the once-secret weather satellite and the US Air Force subsequently confirmed that it had been lost.
The satellite was an ageing component of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program which the US military began developing the in the 1960s to help plan reconnaissance and surveillance missions.
In 1972 the system was declassified, and data made available to civilian scientists.
The lost satellite was the 13th to be launched as part of DMSP, designated DMSP-F13, and had been in Earth orbit since 1995.
Air Force Space Command confirmed to SpaceNews.com that the “catastrophic event” came after “a sudden spike in temperature” was detected, followed by “an unrecoverable loss of attitude control”.
While operators were deciding how to “render the vehicle safe” they detected a debris cloud which indicated that the satellite had been destroyed.
The explosion has caused at least 43 pieces of debris to scatter into orbit, which are now being tracked by the US Air Force.
Air Force Col. John Giles, the Joint Space Operations Center’s director, told SpaceNews.com: “While the initial response is complete, JSpOC personnel will continue to assess this event to learn more about what happened and what it will mean for users within this orbit.”
There is speculation that the power system may have failed, causing the explosion. –Source: Telegraph UK
According to the report, there’s speculation that the power system on the satellite had failed, causing the powerful explosion that broke apart the unit in at least 43 different pieces that are still in orbit.
This is the first time we hear of a U.S. satellite exploding due to spikes in temperatures. In fact, the report is very vague when explaining the details of the accident other than stating a power supply failure.
Of course with the lack of information given, rumors have already started to spin about possible laser weapons being responsible for the downed satellite.
If that was the case, then who was responsible for shooting down a satellite in orbit?
I’d like to think that this was caused by some coronal mass ejection carried on by the solar winds that are constantly bombarding our planet.
However if that is the case, then the question of global dependency on technology arises. Meaning, what would happen to most of our satellites in orbit if our Sun one day decided to let out an exhausted sigh in our direction?
Here’s what would happen: