Commercial communications satellite breaks apart in orbit

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For reasons that are not clear, SES’s AMC-9 satellite, launched in 2003 and nearing the end of its 15 year design life, appeared on June 17 to suddenly break into at least two pieces.

The video at the link requires patience to watch, but it shows the satellite go from one bright spot to about two at around two minutes. These two spots then slowly drift apart.



  • ken anthony

    Irreconcilable differences?

  • Anthony Domanico

    It has to be in more than two pieces, many more. Now we can only hope it doesn’t cascade into a very terrible kind of fireworks.

    Like Wayne White, the CEO of Space Booster LLC said the space insurance companies should be very concerned with and strong proponents of space debris mitigation and removal.

  • Dick Eagleson

    Orbital debris remediation is a “lighthouse problem.” Both the people who pay for lighthouses and the people who don’t benefit from them existing. The U.S. needs to stand up a spacefaring equivalent of the U.S. Coast Guard – I favor the name High Guard. Like the USCG, the USHG would have as one of its primary jobs the elimination of hazards to navigation.

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