Airliner's Close Encounter


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My Satellite Setup
IDD CI24 ECONO MM Penta 1.20 Galaxy II
1.2Mtr Polar MTG yes it has been on the arc for 25 years and is now fixed on 13 East using two pairs of rusty molegrips. Unlike me they never groan but always perform.
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Blackburn, Lancashire
Airliner's Close Encounter With Meteor Thursday March 29, 03:20 PM Sky News
Hundreds of passengers on board a jet were almost blown to smithereens by a meteor hurtling to Earth, according to reports. The Chilean Airbus was en route to Auckland, New Zealand, when the pilot reported seeing flaming debris around his aircraft. Investigators thought the Lan Chile plane may have narrowly avoided being hit by Russian space debris - which was fiercely denied by Moscow.
NASA has since said the most likely explanation was a close encounter with a disintegrating meteor that could have been "catastrophic".
While it is not uncommon for debris to fall into the South Pacific, "it is very uncommon to have a plane in the middle of it," according to a New Zealand aerospace official.
The incident is now being investigated as a matter of urgency.
"The pilot estimated the debris to be falling as close as five nautical miles (9.26 kilometres) to the aircraft," a spokesman said.
"Time-wise, you're talking about 20 seconds and that's not a lot of separation".
Experts say about 50 meteors enter the Earth's atmosphere every day, compared to 150 pieces of man-made space junk.
About two-thirds of these are unplanned - but the authorities are still generally able to monitor them.
Experts say the results of a collision between an aircraft and falling space debris would be "catastrophic".
But they add the chances of such an incident are "extremely unlikely".