A rocket explodes in space

In 2007, a rocket engine propelled three Russian satellites into the sky. Now, fifteen years later, it has exploded.

Earth is teeming with unwanted space. The amount of discarded objects and debris continues to increase. A Russian rocket engine that exploded in space is making this problem a little worse now. Sixteen spots are now under surveillance by the US Space Force.

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Proton, a Russian unmanned launch vehicle, launched three Russian missiles in 2007 glonassSatellites at high altitudes. The upper stage was powered by two accelerating rockets, called SOZ engines. Of those, 64 are currently in orbit, via tweets from astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell.

This rocket engine does not consume all its fuel because it launches satellites into space. And it tends to explode years or decades later, producing a massive amount of space debris.” mail McDowell. “At least 54 SOZ engines have already exploded.”

Atmosphere inside

This happened again on April 15th, as it was recently announced. The 16 pieces currently being tracked by the US Space Force’s 18th Space Defense Squadron must penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere. This will take some time though. The rocket engine made a large elliptical orbit around the Earth; The distance between it and Earth ranged from 388 kilometers to 19,074 kilometers. But of course it is always wise to keep an eye on the “enemy approaching”.

sources: Scientific AmericanIFL Science

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