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Waspie_Dwarf

NASA Satellite Dodges a 1.5-ton Bullet

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The Day NASA's Fermi Dodged a 1.5-ton Bullet

NASA scientists don't often learn that their spacecraft is at risk of crashing into another satellite. But when Julie McEnery, the project scientist for NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, checked her email on March 29, 2012, she found herself facing this precise situation.

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 underappreciated aspect of managing a space mission: orbital traffic control.

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The Day NASA's Fermi Dodged a 1.5-ton Bullet

On March 29, 2012, the science team for NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope learned that a defunct Cold-War spy satellite would pass too close for comfort on April 4. The two spacecraft were expected to occupy the same point in space within 30 milliseconds of each other, which meant that Fermi had to get out of the way.

Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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Wow, that was close.

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I wish that there was some way to collect all that junk and recycle it. oh well perhaps at some point in the far future

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We dodged a bullet.

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