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This shows the first 14 pieces of debris associated with Cosmos 2251 to be cataloged

As I said before, it takes a while for NORAD to accumulate enough observations on separated debris before they can uniquely identify the same object over and over. Today, exactly when I expected it (based on the week it took NASA to catalog the first debris from the 2007 Chinese ASAT test), the first 14 pieces of debris have been cataloged and listed on the web. Note that there are three out of the 14 with either very high or very low apogees. What I’m surprised about is that these should have been the first to separate from the swarm and I was expecting them to have the lowest ID numbers. They do not, however. As time goes by, I expect to see many more pieces show up from both satellites. An analysis of their velocity and direction distributions will be very informative about hypervelocity collisions. Oh boy, I’m looking forward to that!

Update: Eight pieces of the Iridium 33 have also been cataloged. We can expect more of these too.