Reserve weather sat DMSP-13 has exploded in orbit

by | Mar 3, 2015 | Satellites, Seradata News | 0 comments

After 43 new pieces of debris were discovered in orbit (subsequently revised to over a hundred), US Air Force Space Command has admitted to the industry journal Space News that the reserve military weather satellite DMSP-13 is believed to have exploded in orbit on 3 February 2015.  Before the explosion a temperature spike in its power system was detected. This was followed by a loss of attitude control.  Experts believe that this evidence points to an explosive battery failure.

The spacecraft was launched in 1995 but has effectively been an in-orbit reserve since 2006, so the spacecraft’s loss is not being keenly felt by the US military.  While the cause of the failure has not been fully confirmed, its sister spacecraft, DMSP-11 also exploded in orbit, though in that case the spacecraft had already been retired when it exploded.

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