Paranoid loons, ready?

So, as befits the traditional character of this blog, what is the story behind this story?

US and Russian communications satellites have collided in space in what is thought to be the biggest incident of its kind to date.

The US commercial Iridium spacecraft hit a defunct Russian [military] satellite at an altitude of about 800km (500 miles) over Siberia on Tuesday, Nasa said.

Now, what could it be? Is it just a random occurrence, such as was bound to happen eventually? Or was it something a little more interesting?

Things to take into account:

  • The Iridium system is very cool, and is a very handy thing for the US and NATO to have.
  • Siberia is a part of the world where the US can’t very well just build a monitoring station, and thusly the orbit over it is where the US is least likely to be able to see the skies clearly.
  • However, Russia (and, to a lesser extent, China) can see plenty well.
  • That ‘blind spot’ may well soon disappear.

Personally, I’m not sure. I think that it’s probably just an accident, but there’s always the outside possibility that something untoward may have been going on. A test, mayhap, or a pressing desire on the part of the Russians to block satellite phones in a part of the world for a short period of time.

The timing is unfortunate: I was out with my personal &uumt;ber-paranoid loon on Tuesday; we’re not scheduled for another boozing session for a while. He’d have had some very interesting thoughts on the topic…

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