In 2021, Russia conducted a widely condemned rocket test by blasting the missing Cosmos 1408 satellite in orbit. On Monday night, the International Space Station performed a dodge maneuver to avoid space debris left over from the test.
“Tonight, the International Space Station’s Progress 81 thrusters fired for 5 minutes and 5 seconds in a Predefined Debris Avoidance Mechanism (PDAM) to provide the complex with an additional measure of distance.” distance from the expected orbit of a fragment of the Russian spacecraft Debris from Cosmos 1408,” NASA said in a statement. Tien 81 is a Russian cargo ship docked at the ISS. The spacecraft’s thrusters can be used to move the station into orbit. Without maneuvering, the debris would have to pass within 3 miles (5 km) of the station, which may be too close to be comfortable. The thrusters moved the ISS to a higher-altitude orbit.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson called the rocket test “irresponsible”. The ISS crew was forced to enter an emergency shelter shortly after the test in 2021. Earlier in 2022, the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1A Earth observation satellite escaped a collision. with the fragment of Cosmos 1408.
Space debris is a growing problem. The debris field ranges from life-sized inactive satellites to small debris. Even small pieces can damage satellites, spacecraft and space stations. Space agencies are constantly monitoring the debris so that corrections can be made to ensure the safety of space assets.
NASA said Monday’s repositioning operation did not affect the operation of the ISS.
- ISS uses debris avoidance maneuvers to avoid Russian space junk
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