Now, a satellite traffic cop to prevent space collisions

Posted By: Mamatha
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Washington, Sept 2 (ANI): Although space collisions are rare, when they do happen, they leave a long-lasting impact. A coalition of satellite traffic cops, however, aims to prevent these episodes from occurring at all.

Tobias Nassif is the vice president of satellite operations and ngineering for Intelsat and a director of the newly formed Space ata Association,

The group provides advance notice of potential collisions so satellite operators can reposition their spacecraft before it's too late.

As more and more spacecraft are put into orbit, the chance of a collision increases as well, he added.

The prospect of an orbital crash seemed pretty remote until Feb. 10, 2009, when an obsolete Soviet-era satellite called Cosmos 2251 ploughed into a working commercial telecommunications satellite owned by Iridium.

It generated more than 1,700 pieces of debris that were large enough to be tracked by radars on Earth. Ninety-six percent of the junk remains in orbit today.

"Just having the contact information among the operators might help mitigate the possibilities of collisions in space," Discovery News quoted Nassif as saying.

The group expects to be fully operationally by January, issuing not just warnings of potential collisions, but also ways to mitigate radio interference.

"The system really isn't limited in the number of spacecraft that it can handle. We're outreaching to all the operators and civil agencies," Nassif said. (ANI)

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