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Military weather satellite explodes in orbit
Posted: Tue, Mar 3, 2015, 7:44 AM ET (1244 GMT)
DMSP satellite illustration (USAF) A 20-year-old weather satellite exploded in orbit last month, creating several dozen pieces of debris. Air Force officials confirmed that the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F13 satellite, launched in 1995, suffered a "catastrophic event" February 3 after a sudden temperature spike. That event created more than 40 pieces of debris being tracked today. The satellite had been serving in a backup role since 2006. Air Force officials said the spacecraft's data were not used in weather forecast models, although the loss of the satellite will cause "slightly reduced" access to real-time weather imagery for tactical users.
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