54 debris objects have now been cataloged in geotransfer orbit from the disintegration of the @ulalaunch rocket stage Centaur AV-073, which was launched in 2018 and broke up on Apr 6.
What was the reason for it breaking up? I must have missed it.
It wasn't passivated (or at least wasn't done so correctly). So there was still energy stored onboard, probably in the form of pressurized tanks. Something "popped" in April.
Yes all Centaurs are passivated, thats been true for decades. Makes me think it might be a debris hit?
It might be, but the original @18SPCS notification said that they had no indication it was caused by a collision. I tend to believe that even a small collision with an upper stage would produce more than 52 pieces of trackable debris.
Update on tweets in previous post. In response to claim of passivation issue:https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/1187723506773045248Quoteincorrect