The Space Debris Office at ESOC have updated their conjunction alert based on the on-going manoeuvre planning.
The news is positive!
If the manoeuvre is conducted, the object is now forecast to pass in front of Swarm-B by 746m and beneath the craft by an additional 35 m, in addition to the initially forecast 21.7 m. This means that the miss distance in the radial direction (i.e. the direction running from the centre of Earth through the satellite) would amount to -56 m.
“In other words, we see that conducting the planned manoeuvre would be sufficient to reduce the risk to acceptable levels,” says Tim Flohrer.
The teams at ESOC will continue planning, and will prepare a command stack for uploading during the Kiruna ground station contact pass tomorrow morning at 07:51 UTC.
Tomorrow morning there will also be a second meeting called by Spacecraft Operations Manager Frank-Jürgen Diekmann to assess the situation. By then, the Space Debris team will have an additional update from JSpOC with fresh data.
We’ll continue providing updates via Twitter (@esaoperations) as we get news.