• Question: Has your satellite ever been hit by a rock? What would happen?

    Asked by 378spap26 to Samuel on 15 Nov 2018.
    • Photo: Samuel Bancroft

      Samuel Bancroft answered on 15 Nov 2018: last edited 15 Nov 2018 2:43 pm

      Space is massive – and the chance of being hit by a rock out there is quite low. However, close to the Earth amongst other satellites, there is still a chance of our satellites being hit by manmade space debris.

      Fortunately it hasn’t happened to us, but in cases where it has happened, if travelling in opposite orbits, debris can hit satellites at speeds of a few kilometres *per second*. Obviously this can completely wipe out satellites. Another consequence of this could be ‘Kessler Syndrome’ – where a destroyed satellite produces loads of debris and causes a chain reaction, destroying loads of satellites in Earth orbits.

      see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kessler_syndrome