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The already hobbled Hubble Space Telescope could be further harmed by space debris from Wednesday's unprecedented satellite collision, a chief NASA scientist told ABC News.
There has always been a small risk that Hubble and other spacecraft could be damaged by the thousands of pieces of junk floating through space.
But now that the space telescope is orbiting 75 miles below where the collision took place, experts say the risk is much greater.
"Clearly debris from the event is going through the altitude that the Hubble flies, so we're going to be looking at what is the new risk to Hubble," said Nicholas Johnson, chief scientist at the Orbital Debris Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center.
When two large satellites crossing paths at hypervelocity -- each weighing more than 1,000 pounds and going 17,500 miles an hour -- collided Wednesday over Siberia at an altitude of 491 miles, it was the first time there had ever been such a crash in space.
No one knows yet why the Iridium communications satellite and an old Russian Cosmos satellite ended up on a collision course.
Computer type PC/Desktop System Manufacturer/Model Number Airbot 2.0 OS Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1 CPU Core i7 920 (D0) @ 4Ghz, *26c idle *65c full load on air Motherboard Asus P6X58D Premium - Sata 6Gb/s - USB 3.0 Memory 12GB DDR3 Corsair Dominator -CMD12GX3M6A1600C8 at 1600MHz Graphics Card Zotac Geforce GTX 770 Sound Card ASUS Xonar D2X Monitor(s) Displays 1 LG 24" Flatron W2453V-PF 1 Samsung 24" P2450H both 2ms RT Screen Resolution 1920x1080@60hz
Keyboard Logitech Wireless MK700 Mouse Logitech Wireless MK700 PSU Corsair HX1000W Case Cooler Master HAF 932 Cooling Case Fans *3 230mm, *1 140mm/CPU - *Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme Hard Drives 1 Samsung 250GB 840 Evo SSD
1 OCZ Vertex2 180GB SSD
1 TB Samsung Spinpoint F1 7200RPM 32MB cache
2 500GB WD Caviar Blacks 7200RPM 32MB cache (WD5001AALS)
Pioneer DVD Burner DVR-S18M Internet Speed DL 15 Mbps UL 0.98 Mbps Antivirus None Browser Firefox Nightly Other Info Processor-7.7 *RAM- 7.9 *Graphics-7.9 *Gaming Graphics- 7.9 *SSD- 7.8 W.E.I final score= 7.7
*Phone- LG Nexus 5
System Manufacturer/Model Number Home Built OS Windows XP in 1, and Windows 7 in 2 CPU AMD Athlon64 for both, 1.8GHz 2800 in 1, 2.2GHz 3200 in 2 Motherboard MSI MS-6702 for 1, WinFast NF4UK8AA in 2 Memory 768MB in 1, 1.5GB in 2 Graphics Card ATI D33053 in 1, Power Color HD2600 in 2 Sound Card both onboard sound Monitor(s) Displays both ViewSonic, A70 in 1, E70f in2 Screen Resolution 1280X960 on 2, and highest possiblke in Win 7 on 2
Keyboard DELL QuietKey 1, Microsoft Wireless Laser Keyboard 5000 2 Mouse Microsoft Wheel mouse optical USB 1, (same as above) 2 Cooling Both aircollerd systems Hard Drives Both 40GB, for now Internet Speed 6Mbps