PHOTOS: Satellite Collision Creates Dangerous Debris

PHOTOS: Satellite Collision Creates Dangerous Debris
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A U.S. Iridium satellite (artist's conception above) was destroyed after its collision with a Russian military satellite on February 10, 2009. Officials with U.S. Strategic Command say they are tracking more than 500 pieces of debris created by the impact.

Iridium Satellite LLC of Maryland, bills itself as having the largest commercial satellite constellation in the world. The destroyed craft was part of a global network of 66 low-orbiting satellites.

The two satellites were traveling at about six miles (ten kilometers) a second when they collided.

NASA officials say neither satellite was to blame for the crash. "Nothing has the right of way up there," NASA's Nicholas Johnson told CBS News. "We don't have an air traffic controller in space."

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—Illustration from NASA via AP
 
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