Satellite collision avoided as inactive equipment passes over Pittsburgh

Defunct decades-old satellites passed near each other Wednesday without incident, says U.S. Space Command

No collision!

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Two inactive satellites crossed paths without incident Wednesday, avoiding a collision that had been considered a possible scenario, according to U.S. Space Command.

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The command, which falls under the Department of Defense, said that the 18th Space Control Squadron and NASA had been tracking the satellites and projected a less-than-3 percent chance of them colliding over western Pennsylvania.

The satellites involved in the near-miss are the GGSE-4, leftover from a 1967 Air Force test, and the IRAS, an infrared telescope launched in 1983 that ceased operating after 10 months, according to NASA.

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The telescope found six comets and the core of our galaxy, among other discoveries, according to NASA.

The 18th Space Control Squadron monitors more than 26,000 objects in orbit in order to protect more than 2,400 active satellites, according to U.S. Space Command.

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