Space station maneuvers to avoid debris

Published September 24, 2020 111 Views $0.04 earned

Space station maneuvers to avoid debris

The International Space Station maneuvered to avoid a potential collision with a piece of space debris, an incident the head of NASA used to advocate for more funding for the agency directed to handle space traffic management.

NASA announced on the afternoon of Sept. 22 that it was working with U.S. Space Command to track an unidentified piece of debris expected to pass within a few kilometers of the station at 6:21 p.m. Eastern that day.

Controllers fired the thrusters on a Progress spacecraft docked to the station for two and a half minutes about an hour before that closest approach to keep the station clear of the debris.

The object, projected to come within 1.39 kilometers of the station, passed without incident.

While the station’s three-person crew was not in danger, NASA said that they did board their Soyuz spacecraft docked to the station for a time “out of an abundance of caution” until the threat passed.

Space junk is a growing problem in Earth orbit. Nearly 129 million pieces of debris are whizzing around our planet at the moment, about 34,000 of which are more than 4 inches (10 centimeters) wide, according to estimates by the European Space Agency.

At the International Space Station's altitude, roughly 250 miles (400 kilometers) up, material zooms around Earth at about 17,500 mph (28,200 kph) — so fast that a collision with even a tiny shard of debris could do serious damage to the orbiting lab. 

Source:
https://www.space.com/space-station-dodges-debris-astronauts-soyuz-shelter

Source:
https://www.theverge.com/2020/9/23/21451587/iss-space-junk-debris-avoidance-maneuver

Source:
https://spacenews.com/space-station-maneuvers-to-avoid-debris/

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