They really did. It’s a first. One was an Iridium satellite (remember those?) and the other was a defunct Soviet communications satellite (is there any other kind?) The collision took place at noon EST, 491 miles over northern Siberia. No fair! Everything good always happens over northern Siberia.
Asked which satellite was at fault, [Nicholas] Johnson [who’s NASA’s chief scientist in charge of space debris; I wish I had that on my business card] said “they ran into each other. Nothing has the right of way up there. We don’t have an air traffic controller in space. There is no universal way of knowing what’s coming in your direction.”
Scary. I truly believe people will look back on today as the day Earth’s orbital space passed the tipping point into oversaturation. It’s going to be hell up there until we’ve got enough debris that we can just weld it all together into a Dyson sphere. (I know Dyson spheres are around stars. Work with me here.)
What with this and the Wachowski brothers maybe making a Superman movie, the end times are truly near.