I'm working with the idea of a 'ring station' encircling a planet, as a tightly connected belt of structures that connect in orbit around the planet's equator. I'm curious to know what would happen if a portion of that structure were destroyed (say, 10-20% of the structure), in particular what effect it might have on the surviving majority of the station.
Would the remaining structure continue to orbit relatively undisrupted? Alternatively, would there be some stresses introduced to the structure, or some decay introduced to the structure's orbit?
EDIT: Thanks so much for the great responses, this has given me a lot to think about! I appreciate I haven't offered much in the way of detail (orbital distance, mass, structural details) however at this stage I'm still just rolling the idea around a little to see what's viable for my story.
As I picture it, the structure would be a rigid or semi-rigid, continuous man-made 'belt' around the planet, equidistant from the surface on all sides. Much like the structures in the Halo game series, though on a scale that would comfortably encircle a planet. The belt would be perhaps 100-200 metres wide/deep - enough to allow inhabitants to set up habitation and other facilities, and traverse the circumference via some means of transportation, such as a rapid transit rail network.
I'm more than happy to hear of any obvious or significant limitations on whether this is remotely possible, and make the call from there on whether it's still hand-wavingly plausible to proceed with in my setting.