We heard so much news about the collision within debris in space. But this time it wasn’t just some debris that missed the collision but two working satellites missed by a few meters. We are talking about Indian and Russian satellites; Cartosat-2F (Indian remote sensing satellite) and Kanopus-V (Russian Earth observation satellite).
India’s 700 kg cartography satellite Cartosat-2F and Russia’s 450 kg Kanopus-V satellite came very close to colliding in outer space on Friday morning, said Roscosmos, Russia’s state space corporation. Both the satellites were as close as 224 metres.
Roscosmos said in a statement that as per the TsNIIMash main information and analytical centre of the Warning Automated System of Hazardous Situations near the earth space-part of Roscosmos, at 1.49 UTC (IST 7.19 a.m.), Cartosat-2F, an active Indian satellite, dangerously approached Russia’s Kanopus-V satellite.
According to the TsNIIMash calculations, the minimum distance between the Russian and the foreign satellite was 224 metres. However, allaying fears, Isro chairman K Sivan told TOI that “we have been tracking the satellite for four days and it is about 420 meters away from the Russian satellite. A manoeuvre will only be done when it comes around 150 meters.”
Both the spacecraft are designed for Earth’s remote sensing. Kanopus is an Earth observation satellite with a launch mass of 450 kg mini-satellite mission of the Russian Space Agency. Its overall objective is to monitor Earth’s surface, atmosphere, ionosphere, and magnetosphere to detect and study the probability of strong earthquake occurrence.
On the other hand, Cartosat-2F is the eighth in the Cartosat-2 series launched in January 2018. While Roscosmos made the matter public, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has maintained silence on the issue so far.
However, it is not known how the Indian satellite came so close to the Russian satellite.
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