NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope narrowly avoids destruction in an orbital near-miss.
The dangers of space debris have re-asserted themselves this week after it was revealed that last year the Fermi Space Telescope came within 700ft of a defunct Cold-War spy satellite, a close call for the space observatory. NASA's Robotic Conjunction Assessment Risk Analysis team routinely analyzes the orbital paths of satellites and other objects to predict potential collisions.
In 2009 such a disaster became a reality when an active Iridium 33 communications satellite collided with a dead Russian communications satellite, destroying both objects and leaving a trail of debris behind.
"NASA scientists don't often learn that their spacecraft is at risk of crashing into another satellite."
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