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Mystery Still Surrounds Iridium Debris Incidents

Mystery Still Surrounds Iridium Debris Incidents

Iridium Communications said after both incidents that the two satellites that NASA assumes produced the debris are working fine and recorded no anomalies on either occasion. Credit: National Air and Space Museum
Iridium Communications said after both incidents that the two satellites that NASA assumes produced the debris are working fine and recorded no anomalies on either occasion. Credit: National Air and Space Museum

PARIS — Two unexplained debris-producing events in 2014 involving active Iridium mobile communications satellites produced 14 pieces of identifiable debris whose source remains unknown, NASA’s Orbital Debris Office said Jan. 20.

In its quarterly assessment of space-debris developments, NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston said the two events, one in June and the second in November, “illustrate how mysterious many of the debris phenomena in Earth orbit still remain.”

McLean, Virginia-based Iridium Communications said after both incidents that the two satellites that NASA assumes produced the debris are working fine and recorded no anomalies on either occasion. Iridium satellites orbit at an altitude of about 781 kilometers.

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January 22, 2015


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