Skip to comments.Flaming space junk narrowly misses jet
Posted on 03/28/2007 8:05:31 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued
Pieces of space junk from a Russian satellite coming out of orbit narrowly missed hitting a jetliner over the Pacific Ocean overnight.
The pilot of a Lan Chile Airbus A340, which was travelling between Santiago, Chile, and Auckland, New Zealand, notified air traffic controllers at Auckland Oceanic Centre after seeing flaming space junk hurtling across the sky just five nautical miles in front of and behind his plane about 10pm last night.
According to a plane spotter, who was tuning into a high frequency radio broadcast at the time, the pilot "reported that the rumbling noise from the space debris could be heard over the noise of the aircraft.
"He described he saw a piece of debris lighting up as it re-entered (the earth's atmosphere).
"He was one very worried pilot, as you would imagine.
"Auckland is talking to (an) Aerolineas Argentinas (pilot) who is travelling (in the) opposite direction at 10 degrees further south asking if they wish to turn back to Auckland.
"They have elected to carry on at the moment.
"(It's) not something you come across everyday and I am sure the Lan Chile crew will have a tale to tell."
(Excerpt) Read more at thewest.com.au ...
If this junk was from an American satellite, it would have been front-page news with commentary from Al Gore. But since the pollution is Russian, it's no big deal./s
Space junk has a limited life span.
Still, this could have killed people.
TOWER: "We have fire trucks and clean undershorts standing by..."
There is a China Space Agency joke somewhere in that headline...
I would have thought that would have predicted this event and issued a warning notice.
There are thousands of incidents of small planes and passenger jets coming alot closer than that every year.
My Audi A6 comes within 5 miles of several hundred thousand cars per year, and I haven't had a single accident yet!
Naively, this sounds like the making of one good case in international courts.
It would be an interesting quirk of history if Chile ends up winning
title to a fair chunk of Russia if Chile loses an airliner to Russian
Yes, I know it's a fantasy, but it does sound like this sort of thing
might make for an intriguing legal battle.
they don't track everything. In fact, they discover 'new' junk all the time