Risk of Starlink/Progress near miss
July 2, 2021
By Chris Forrester
Russia’s Roscosmos space agency says there’s a risk that a SpaceX Starlink satellite will get “dangerously close” to Russia’s Progress MS-17/78 cargo craft.
Progress MS-17/78 was launched on June 29th aboard a Soyuz-2.1a rocket and is due to arrive at the International Space Station in the early overnight hours (GMT) of July 2nd.
The decommissioned Starlink satellite (1691) plus what Roscosmos describes as a Falcon 9 rocket “fragment” which was launched back in 2020 are slowly decaying in their orbits and would eventually burn up in the atmosphere.
However, the Agency (using data from its TsNIIMash Main Information and Analytical Center) says the Starlink will pass at about 1.5 kms while the rocket debris will get as close as about 500 metres.
The cargo on the Progress craft includes food, propellant and other supplies for the occupants of the Space Station.