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Monday, November 29, 2021

International Space Station manoeuvres higher to swerve satellite junk

The station crewed by seven astronauts climbed 1,240 metres higher.

By: Reuters |
November 11, 2021 3:25:05 pm
International Space StationInternational Space Station (NASA)

The International Space Station(ISS) performed a brief manoeuvre on Wednesday to dodge a fragment of a defunct Chinese satellite, Russian space agency Roscosmos said. On Friday, November 12, 2021, a fragment of the Fengyun-1C spacecraft will approach the International Space Station at about 4 am Moscow time, Roscosmos added.

The station crewed by seven astronauts climbed 1,240 metres higher to avoid a close encounter with the fragment and settled in an orbit 470.7 km (292 miles) above the Earth, Roscosmos said. It did not say how large the debris was.

“In order to dodge the ‘space junk’, (mission control) specialists…have calculated how to correct the orbit of the International Space Station,” the agency’s statement said adding that the minimum distance between the object and the ISS was just over 600 meters.

The station relied on the engines of the Progress space truck that is docked to it to carry out the move.

An ever-swelling amount of space debris is threatening satellites hovering around Earth, making insurers leery of offering coverage to the devices that transmit texts, maps, videos and scientific data.

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