The International Space Station (ISS) barely avoided a collision with space debris for the third time this year.
NASA said that the International Space Station used a cargo ship’s propellers that work in tandem with NASA and Russian flight controllers to avoid collisions with unknown debris. According to NASA, the debris is expected to arrive within one mile of the station at around 6:21 pm Eastern Time on Tuesday.
NASA said that in the past two weeks alone, there have been three “potential nodes of high concern” related to space debris, and the International Space Station had to perform three maneuvers this year to avoid debris.
According to NASA, low earth orbit is an orbiting space junkyard. There are millions of materials flying around, ranging from spacecraft to some rockets and satellites that have failed.
NASA said that the three Expedition 63 crew members on the International Space Station were directed to the Russian part of the station “due to prudent considerations as part of the hedging procedure.”
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted on Tuesday afternoon Eastern Time: “The maneuvering burn is complete. The astronaut has escaped from the safe haven.”
Bridenstine added in a follow-up tweet: “@Space_Station conducted three maneuvers in 2020 to avoid debris.” “In the past two weeks, three worrying potential conjunctions have emerged. The debris is getting worse! Congress! There is time to provide @CommerceGov with the $15 million that @POTUS requested from the Space Commerce Office.”
On February 11, President Trump issued a budget proposal that included a request for $15 million, requiring the Office of Space Commerce to “respond to current and future national space policy directives.” One of the goals of the Ministry of Commerce’s strategic plan is to “improve the visualization and modeling of objects (including debris) in the space environment.”
NASA said that after the exercise was completed, no personnel were injured and the US and Russian parts of the station were able to resume regular activities.
Video: NASA released new images of the CNN
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