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From Earth orbit to deep space: sharing the excitement of realtime mission operations at the European Space Agency #WhereMissionsComeAlive 🛰🕹️ #SpaceSafety
28 Jun
2️⃣ days til #AsteroidDay!

The second most likely asteroid to strike Earth is 2018 VP1. A tiny little thing, it is estimated to be just 2.4 m in diameter and has a (relatively) high chance of striking Earth in November this year of 1 in 193

Even though 2018 VP1 seems very small, meteorites still regularly reach Earth's surface - it all depends on the composition of the asteroid.

ESA & @mfnberlin are currently studying the physical processes as an asteroid enters Earth's atmosphere with velocities above 11 km/s
In 2018, a similarly small object - 2018 LA - entered Earth over Botswana and South Africa. This was only the third asteroid that was detected before it impacted Earth

📷Barend Swanepoel
Read 4 tweets
1 Oct 19
To date, more than 5800 launches have resulted in over 44,000 tracked objects in orbit, of which more than 20,000 remain in space and are regularly tracked by surveillance networks around the globe
~26% of catalogued objects are satellites, and only a small fraction of those - about 2000 - are still operating today
~17% of tracked objects are used upper stages of rockets and mission-related objects like launch adapters and lens covers
A drifting thermal blanket,📸1998
More than half of the #spacedebris population was generated by 500+ in-space break-ups. The two major fragmentation events are clearly visible as jumps in the graph:
2007: Chinese anti-satellite missile test
2009: Collision between Iridium 33 and Kosmos-2251 satellites
Read 9 tweets
2 Sep 19
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
Read 11 tweets
2 Aug 19
The surprise close approach of asteroid '2019 OK' illustrates need for more eyes on the sky☄️🔭
Find out more:…
Two key goals of ESA’s #PlanetaryDefence activities are, by 2030, Europe will be able to
1. Provide early warning for dangerous asteroids larger than 40 m in size, about three weeks in advance☄️

Find out about the 'bug-eyed' #Flyeye telescope that will scan our skies in the search for risky #spacerocks:…
Read 4 tweets
27 Apr 19
Whats your favourite method to prevent an #AsteroidImpact?
(More info on techniques below. HINT: one is pretty dangerous and another is #sciencefiction)
1. The planned #AIDA mission will be the first to test asteroid deflection. @NASA's #DART spacecraft will be crashed into asteroid #Didymoon, and ESA's #HeraMission will observe the effects. Find out more:…
2. Explode asteroid: speaks for itself!💥
Read 6 tweets