It’s interesting that they don’t even entertain the possibility that a space rock might have collided with the Russian satellite, especially since they state that “the predicted distance would seem to preclude a collision”. Given that fireballs are currently raining down on our planet and given that the International Space Station was hit by a small space rock last year, shouldn’t cometary debris at least be on their radar of possible explanations for what happened to these satellites?
Teams looking at the event had to work backwards to review archival satellite data and determine what piece of space debris could be large enough to cause a change in orbit in the BLITS satellite. They found a close approach between debris from FENGYUN 1C and the BLITS satellite. Although the predicted distance would seem to preclude a collision, the fact that the close approach occurred within 10 seconds of the estimated change in orbit made it appear likely that this piece of FENGYUN 1C debris actually collided with BLITS, AGI reported.