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Ecuadorian satellite may have collided with space debris
Posted: Sun, May 26, 2013, 11:06 AM ET (1506 GMT)
The first satellite launched by the South American nation of Ecuador may have collided with and been damaged by debris associated with a Soviet-era rocket stage this week. On Wednesday, NORAD warned that NEE-01 Pegaso, a CubeSat launched as a secondary payload on a Chinese rocket in April, would pass close on Thursday to the upper stage of a Tsyklon-3 rocket launched by the Soviet Union in 1985. Officials with the Ecuadorian space agency EXA said that they subsequently lost contact with the satellite, and believe it took a glancing blow from a cloud of particles surrounding the rocket stage, spinning it up. NEE-01 Pegaso, weighing just 1.2 kilograms, is Ecuador's first satellite.
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