, 11 tweets, 16 min read Read on Twitter
For the first time ever, ESA has performed a 'collision avoidance manoeuvre' to protect one of its satellites from colliding with a 'mega constellation'
@esa This morning, @ESA's #Aeolus Earth observation satellite fired its thrusters, moving it off a collision course with a @SpaceX satellite in their #Starlink constellation
@esa @SpaceX @ESA_EO Experts in our #SpaceDebris team calculated the risk of collision between these two active satellites, determining the safest option for #Aeolus would be to increase its altitude and pass over the @SpaceX satellite
@esa @SpaceX @ESA_EO The manoeuvre took place about 1/2 an orbit before the potential collision. Not long after the collision was expected, #Aeolus called home as usual to send back its science data – proving the manoeuvre was successful and a collision was indeed avoided
@esa @SpaceX @ESA_EO It is very rare to perform collision avoidance manoeuvres with active satellites. The vast majority of ESA avoidance manoeuvres are the result of dead satellites or fragments from previous collisions
@esa @SpaceX @ESA_EO In 2018, ESA performed 28 #collisionavoidance manoeuvres across its fleet. See for example a 2018 manoeuvre by @ESA_Cryosat:
@esa @SpaceX @ESA_EO @esa_cryosat These avoidance manoeuvres take a lot of time to prepare - from determining the future orbital positions of all functioning spacecraft, to calculating the risk of collision and potential outcomes of different actions
📸Inside ESA's #SpaceDebris Office
@esa @SpaceX @ESA_EO @esa_cryosat As the number of satellites in orbit increases, due to 'mega constellations' such as #Starlink comprising hundreds or even thousands of satellites, today's 'manual' collision avoidance process will become impossible...
@esa @SpaceX @ESA_EO @esa_cryosat ESA is preparing to automate this process using #AI #ArtificialIntelligence. From the initial assessment of a potential collision to a satellite moving out of the way, automated systems are becoming necessary to protect our space infrastructure
@esa @SpaceX @ESA_EO @esa_cryosat ESA's future will be decided at this year's ministerial council in November. Find out more about the Agency's #SpaceSafety proposal here: blogs.esa.int/space19plus/pr… and stay tuned for a machine learning competition in which you can play with ESA's #spacedebris data!
@esa @SpaceX @ESA_EO @esa_cryosat More details will follow on the ESA website: esa.int
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to ESA Operations
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!