||This article contains orbital elements but does not include an epoch, or date when those elements, which typically vary over time, were correct.|
A Strela-2M communication satellite, similar to Kosmos 2251
|Launch mass||900 kilograms (2,000 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||16 June 1993, 04:17 UTC|
|Launch site||Plesetsk 132/1|
|End of mission|
|Destroyed||10 February 2009|
|Perigee||778 kilometres (483 mi)|
|Apogee||803 kilometres (499 mi)|
Kosmos-2251, (Russian: Космос-2251 meaning Cosmos 2251), was a Russian Strela-2M communications satellite. It was launched into Low Earth orbit from Site 132/1 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome at 04:17 UTC on 16 June 1993, by a Kosmos-3M carrier rocket.
At 16:56 UTC on 10 February 2009, it collided with Iridium 33, an Iridium satellite, in the first major collision of two satellites in Earth orbit. The Iridium satellite, which was operational at the time of the collision, was destroyed, as was Kosmos-2251. NASA reported that a large amount of debris was produced by the collision.
- Wade, Mark. "Strela-2M". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 11 February 2009.
- Wade, Mark. "Kosmos-3". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 11 February 2009.
- Iannotta, Becky (11 February 2009). "U.S. Satellite Destroyed in Space Collision". Space.com. Retrieved 11 February 2009.
- "Office for Outer Space Affairs". United Nations. Retrieved 12 February 2009.
Reported as colliding with Iridum 33 (1997-051C) on 10/02/2009
- "Russian and US satellites collide". BBC News. 12 February 2009. Retrieved 12 February 2009.
Russia has not commented on claims that the satellite was out of control.
- "2 orbiting satellites collide 500 miles up". Associated Press. 11 February 2009. Retrieved 11 February 2009.
- "U.S. Space debris environment and operational updates" (PDF). NASA. 7 February 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
|Wikinews has news coverage of the 2009 satellite collision|
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