(Reuters) - Space officials in Russia and the United States are tracking hundreds of pieces of debris that were spewed into space when a U.S. satellite collided with a defunct Russian military satellite.
The crash, which Russian officials said took place on Tuesday at about 1700 GMT (12:00 p.m. EST) above northern Siberia, is the first publicly known satellite collision and has raised concerns about the safety of the manned International Space Station.
The collision happened in an orbit heavily used by satellites and other spacecraft and the U.S. Strategic Command, the arm of the Pentagon that handles space, said countries might have to manoeuvre their craft to avoid the debris.
The collision of these two space apparatuses happened by chance and these two apparatuses have been destroyed," Major-General Alexander Yakushin, first deputy commander of Russia's Space Forces, told Reuters.
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