On Friday, March 22, 2020, Russia launched a military satellite into orbit and the debris it generated caused quite a stir on social media. It w as launched aboard a four-stage Soyuz-2 rocket from Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northwestern Russia early transporting a classified payload alleged to be t he fourth satellite for the country’s EKS OiBU missile-warning network. Read more for videos that some captured of the event.
The Soyuz’s third stage was expected to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere over southeastern Australia, with debris splashing down in the Pacific Ocean south of Tasmania. Many living in the region witnessed an other-worldly fireball overhead and social media posts quickly ensued.
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The slow speed, about 6 kilometers per second, is a very telltale sign that it is space junk,” said Jonti Horner, an astrophysics professor at the University of Southern Queensland.
— Vic Storm Chasers (@VicStormChasers) May 22, 2020