18:22 GMT16 April 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - US decommissioned weather satellite NOAA-17 has exploded in space, breaking into 16 pieces, the 18th Space Control Squadron (SPCS) of the US Space Force said on Friday.

    "#18SPCS has confirmed the breakup of NOAA 17 ... on March 10, 2021, at 0711 UTC. NOAA 17 was decommissioned in 2013. Tracking 16 associated pieces – no indication caused by collision," the squadron wrote on Twitter.

    According to the space force, the satellite was in orbit with a maximum altitude of 817 kilometers (507 miles) before it exploded. The squadron did not specify whether the debris pose any threat to operating satellites.

    NOAA-17 was launched back in June 2002. Similar-type satellites have already been destroyed in space due to onboard batteries explosion.

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    space, satellite, US
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