Putin left red-faced as Russian satellite breaks apart in orbit and turns into space junk

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun28,2024

A Russian satellite may have left Vladimir Putin red-faced after breaking into more than 100 pieces.

The space trash unceremoniously released by the old satellite forced astronauts on the International Space Station to return to their respective spacecraft.

They remained sheltered for more than an hour before they could safely resume their work, NASA said.

LeoLabs, a service providing independent monitoring for satellites, wrote on X in the early hours of June 27 that it had detected a “debris-generating event in Low Earth Orbit”.

The message added the satellite producing the fragments could be the non-operational Russian spacecraft Resurs P1.

The fragments, the service said, were released between 1.05pm UTC on June 26 and 12.51am UTC on June 27.

The 6.5-tonne satellite, which was declared dead by Russia in 2022, remains in Earth’s orbit, the Ukrainian Pravda reported.

The US Space Command said the incident presented “no immediate threats”.

It is not known what caused the Resurs P1 to break into pieces. In 2021, Russia struck one of its non-operational satellites with a ground-based missile. There was no immediate indication the same thing happened this week.

According to the UCS Satellite Database, there are 6,542 satellites in space – nearly half of which are inactive.

The lion’s share of this fleet is US-made, with more than the total 2,900 satellites being Americans.

Almost 500 satellites currently in orbit are Chinese, 450 are British and only 167 are Russian.

All these countries have been engaging in space exploration and are home to many commercial satellite companies.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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