Europe’s Sentinel-1A narrowly avoids collision with NASA satellite

Europe’s Sentinel-1A narrowly avoids collision with NASA satellite


France: Just 34 hours after the European Space Agency's Sentinel-1A spacecraft separated from its carrier rocket, it nearly smashed into a dead NASA satellite, informed a blogpost on ESA.

The blogpost read, “As the first day shift nears its end, a serious alert is received: there is a danger of a collision with a NASA satellite called ACRIMSAT, which has run out of fuel and can no longer be maneuvered. Not much information at the beginning, we are waiting for more information, but a collision avoidance maneuver may be needed… It is decided to maneuver Sentinel-1A. Its orbit altitude needs to be changed to escape the chaser. Decision taken: this maneuver is the first one of the mission.

We are ready for the maneuver that takes 39 seconds…The atmosphere was tense and the Main Control Room was filled with suspense. Eyes were looking up at the big screens on the wall, waiting for a sign. As the satellite approached Troll ground station on the next pass and the telemetry started to scroll down in the twilight of the control room, the team holds their breath… Yes! the maneuver has been successful!”

Costing $380 million, the Sentinel-1A is the first of a fleet of satellites that Europe is sending into space for its multibillion-dollar Copernicus project, which the ESA describes as "a new era in Earth observation."

Source: SpaceNews