What could go wrong with 3,236 satellites in space? Plenty

Published October 18, 2019


An article in IEEE Spectrum quotes John Crassidis, Samuel P. Capen Chair and Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Crassidis discusses the risks associated with Amazon’s plan to send 3,236 broadband internet satellites into space. The company reported that if one in 20 satellites fails, there is a six percent chance of a collision. “Six percent is huge,” says Crassidis. “At a six percent chance of collision, astronauts would be put into an escape hatch to possibly escape. Even at orders of magnitude less than that, you’d want to do a maneuver to avoid it.”

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