An artist’s illustration of a Defense Meteorological Satellite Program satellite in orbit. Credit: Lockheed
WASHINGTON — A third U.S. Air Force weather satellite that launched more than 20 years ago has broken up in orbit, Air Force Space Command disclosed Monday evening.
Air Force officials confirmed the breakup of the long-retired Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Flight 12 satellite (DMSP F-12) after the Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, detected an additional object orbiting alongside the 22-year-old satellite.
DMSP F-12, which the Air Force retired from service in 2008, had the same battery assembly that was implicated in the February 2015 breakup of DMSP F-13.
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WNU Editor: These satellites are old .... but these breakdowns are increasing in frequency, and having more junk flying around in space is not to anyone's benefit.