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Chinese space debris trouble for century
[January 11, 2008]

Chinese space debris trouble for century

(UPI Top Stories Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) U.S. military officials said debris in space from a Chinese anti-satellite test a year ago Friday will be problematic for at least a century.

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Ted Kresge, director of air, space and information operations at the Air Force Space Command in Colorado, said the destruction Jan. 11, 2007, of one of China's weather satellites created space hazards for other orbiting satellites.

He said since the test, two U.S. satellites had to be re-routed to avoid debris, The Washington Times reported.

Scientists estimated the wreckage threatens about 800 satellites in space, 400 of which are U.S.-owned, and said the threat would remain for at least 100 years, the report said.

Last April, the Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California reported the commercial communication satellite Orbcomm FM 36 had to have its course altered to avoid passing within about 123 feet of the debris field. In June, a NASA observation satellite was moved June 22 to avoid coming within 90 feet of the space junk, officials said.

Copyright ? 2008 United Press International

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