Russian Satellite Breaks Apart in Orbit

According to United States Space Command (US SPACECOM), the Russian RESURS-P1 satellite broke apart in low-Earth orbit today into 100 discernable pieces. Those pieces, now falling into the atmosphere reportedly pose no threats to humans on the ground or commercial and national interest in orbit. LeoLabs, a debris-tracking service also announced that the satellite had “released a number of fragments”, forming a debris field. The announcement from US SPACECOM reads below:


Resurs-P No.1 was a Russian commercial Earth observation satellite capable of acquiring high-resolution imagery (resolution up to 1.0 m). The spacecraft was operated by Roscosmos as a replacement of the Resurs-DK No.1 satellite. Its mission began on June 25th, 2013. According to Progress ROcket Space Center General Director Dimitriy Baranov, the satellite had been decommissioned in January 2022 due to onboard equipment failure.

Model of the RESURS-P1 at the MAKS Air Show in 2013. Credit: Vitaly V. Kuzmin