International Space Station dodges Chinese space debris

On Wednesday, about six hours before the launch of NASA’s Crew-3 mission into orbit, the International Space Station was forced to maneu...


On Wednesday, about six hours before the launch of NASA’s Crew-3 mission into orbit, the International Space Station was forced to maneuver to avoid Chinese-generated debris. anti-satellite weapon test in 2007.

The piece of junk was to fit into what’s known as the “pizza box,” a square-shaped area 2.5 miles deep and 30 miles wide, where the station sits in the middle. NASA officials are closely monitoring the area using data models of the location of objects in space maintained by US Space Command.

Faced with a threat to the area, the agency worked with the Russian space agency in Moscow to set fire to barracks thrusters that raised its altitude to just under a mile.

“It makes perfect sense to go ahead, burn and put this behind us so that we can keep the crew safe,” Joel Montalbano, director of the space station of the United States, told reporters. NASA, at a press conference Tuesday.

The debris is a remnant of the Chinese Fengyun-1C, a weather satellite launched in 1999 and decommissioned in 2002, but remained in orbit. In 2007, China targeted the dead satellite with a ground ballistic missile, exploding the satellite to pieces and creating more than 3,000 pieces of debris. The missile test drew condemnation from the United States and other countries at the time.

The wreckage of the satellite was due to pass near the space station next Thursday evening, according to Jonathan McDowell, a Harvard astronomer who tracks objects in space. But now that the station has moved, the threat of a collision is minimal.

Much of this cloud of debris is expected to remain in orbit for decades, threatening the space station and other spacecraft.

The station has carried out 29 such avoidance maneuvers since 1999, a year after construction began. In some cases, the astronauts had to board their spaceship and prepare for an emergency departure in case the station is hit and sustains damage.

Only the United States, Russia, China and India have launched anti-satellite tests. The most recent occurred in 2019, when India blew up a dead satellite, an effort to signal its ability to project military force into space.

The SpaceX mission that carried four astronauts for NASA, Japan and France to the space station in April had a fear of space debris. SpaceX mission control alerted astronauts that a piece of space debris had been thrown from the capsule, although nothing came close, and the crew reached the space station safely on April 24.

A few days later, US Space Command determined that the alert was the result of a “reporting error” and “that there had never been a threat of collision because no object was likely to enter. collided with the capsule “. Yet the incident has renewed discussion of the growing threat of space debris and other congestion in low Earth orbit.

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Newsrust - US Top News: International Space Station dodges Chinese space debris
International Space Station dodges Chinese space debris
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