Space Station maneuvers to dodge garbage

Station orbit lowered 310 meters

Published in 03/12/2021 - 14:29 By Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber - Repórter da Reuters - Moscou

The International Space Station (ISS) had to dodge, this Friday (3), the fragment of a launch vehicle from the United States (USA), informed the head of the Russian space agency, the latest in a series of incidents in which space debris required the reaction of astronauts.

Calls for the monitoring and regulation of space junk have increased since Russia conducted an anti-satellite missile test last month. The test created an orbiting debris field, which US officials said could pose a risk to space activities for years.

Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, said the ISS was forced to maneuver because of space debris from a US launch vehicle, which was put into orbit in 1994.

Roscosmos said that during the unscheduled maneuver carried out by Mission Control, the station's orbit dropped 310 meters for nearly three minutes to avoid contact.

Rogozin added that the maneuver will not affect the planned launch of the Soyuz MS-20 rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Dec. 8 and its docking with the ISS.

Space debris consists of discarded launch vehicles or parts of a spacecraft, which float through space and can collide with satellites or the ISS.

In an article published yesterday in the Financial Times , Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), said that the Russian destruction of the satellite last month created the risk of turning space into a junkyard .

Text translated using artificial intelligence.

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