The American “Galaxy 11” communications satellite has partially collapsed/broken-up while in orbit. Fragments from the satellite pose a danger to other, existing satellites.
Information about this satellite:
Satellite Name: Galaxy 11 (G-11)
Position: 93° W (93.1° W)
Cospar number: 1999-071A
Launch date: 21-Jan-1999
Launch site: Guiana Space Center
Launch vehicle: Ariane 44L
Launch mass (kg): 4488
Dry mass (kg): 2775
Manufacturer: Boeing (Hughes)
Model (bus): BSS-702
Expected lifetime: 14 yrs.
Call sign: S2253
Beacon(s): 11701V, 11702V, 11701LHCP, 11702LHCP
24 C-band, 40 Ku-band transponders
No word yet as to why the satellite is breaking apart, or whether its orbit is deteriorating. If so, there is also no word about where, or when, it might come back to earth.
Other countries with satellites are very perturbed by this because they say that pieces from the U.S. satellite now pose a collision danger with THEIR satellites.