“The squadron confirmed the destruction of NOAA 17 on March 10… 16 related debris is being tracked – there is no indication that this was caused by a collision (with another object),”the squadron said in a Twitter post.
According to the US Air Force, before the explosion, the satellite was in orbit with a minimum altitude of 800 kilometers and a maximum of 817 kilometers. Whether the debris is a threat to working satellites is not specified.
NOAA 17 was launched in June 2002 and decommissioned in 2013. Satellites of this series have already been destroyed in space in the past due to the explosion of onboard batteries.