Video: When satellites almost collide

NASA discusses the science of avoiding space junk


NASA has posted a new video discussing some of the events surrounding the events of late March and early April 2012, when it was discovered that the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope was on a collision course with Cosmos 1805, a Cold-War era spy satellite.

As NASA states: "While Fermi is in fine shape today, continuing its mission to map the highest-energy light in the universe, the story of how it sidestepped a potential disaster offers a glimpse at an under appreciated aspect of managing a space mission: orbital traffic control.

The video explains more:

It's pretty sobering once you realize how much space material is floating up around the planet, and that collisions (or near-miss collisions) don't take place more often. This is a great video from the folks at NASA.

Keith Shaw rounds up the best in geek video in his blog. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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