Lost satellites now pose re-entry threat

There’s a huge amount of uncertainty over the precise state of the two satellites which failed to launch on Monday when a Russian Proton rocket suffered technical problems.

The USA’s Strategic Command says 4 objects are in the same dangerous orbit. These are thought to be the Briz-M booster, a fuel tank, and the two satellites.  One satellite was to be used over Russia, with the other operating over Indonesia.

It is speculated that the satellites have separated from the fairing and rocket assembly, and might be controllable.  However, as they are today the satellites will remain flying in space for up to 5 months before falling into Earth’s thicker air and begin to break up.

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