Last Tuesday, astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS) had to carry out an emergency maneuver and take shelter to avoid collision with a piece of space junk.
Although the NASA reported that this maneuver was only carried out as a prevention, since the warning about the possible collision was late, the crew of expedition 63 moved to the Russian segment, with the goal of being closer to the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft.
The element that had to be dodged to avoid the crash consisted of a collection of unknown space debris, whose closest approach to the International Space Station was 1.39 kilometers.
Thus, a maneuver was carried out, by turning on the Progress 75 thrusters by NASA and Roscosmos controllers for 150 seconds, to deflect the trajectory of the space debris and prevent it from crashing into the station. The crew of the International Space Station were not in danger at any time, as reported.
When the prevention maneuver was completed, the crew was able to return to their usual location, between the Russian and American segments, and return to their regular duties.
On his Twitter account, Jim Bridenstine, NASA administrator, made reference to the worrying situation around the ISS due to the three potential collisions that have occurred in the last two weeks as a result of space debris.
The @Space_Station has maneuvered 3 times in 2020 to avoid debris. In the last 2 weeks, there have been 3 high concern potential conjunctions. Debris is getting worse! Time for Congress to provide @CommerceGov with the $15 mil requested by @POTUS for the Office of Space Commerce.
– Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) September 22, 2020