"#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.