ISS Swerves to Avoid Debris From Russian Missile Test

The International Space Station last week was forced to dodge debris from a past Russian anti-satellite missile test, Space.com reports.

Last Thursday, Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, utilized a cargo ship that was docked at the ISS to push the station away from a piece of space debris that came from the destruction of a defunct Soviet-era satellite in a missile test last November.

“This afternoon, the International Space Station’s Progress 81 thrusters fired for 4 minutes, 34 seconds in a Pre-Determined Debris Avoidance Maneuver (PDAM) to provide the complex an extra measure of distance away from the predicted track of a fragment of Russian Cosmos 1408 debris,” NASA wrote in an update on the station.

“The thruster firing occurred at 2:03 pm Central time. The crew was never in any danger and the maneuver had no impact on station operations,” the agency added. “Without the maneuver, it was predicted that the fragment could have passed within around a half mile from the station.”

“I confirm that at 22.03 Moscow time, the engines of the Russian Progress MS-20 transport cargo ship carried out an unscheduled maneuver to avoid a dangerous approach of the International Space Station with a fragment of the Kosmos-1408 spacecraft,” Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said in a statement on Telegram, which has been translated by Google Translate.

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