International Space Station moved by 1240 metres to dodge space junk of a demolished Chinese satellite

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International Space Station moved by 1240 metres to dodge space junk of a demolished Chinese satellite
The International Space StationNASA
  • The International Space Station (ISS) had to perform a maneuver to avoid Chinese space junk.
  • The maneuver was performed with the help of Russia's Progress MS-18 transport cargo vehicle.
  • The space debris was from the Fengyun-1C, a Chinese weather satellite.

The International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday had to maneuver itself to avoid being hit by Chinese space junk. This was confirmed by Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities (Roscosmos), Russia’s space agency.

According to Roscosmos, the “orbital altitude of the International Space Station was increased to avoid collisions with space debris.” This was done with the help of the thrusters on Russia's Progress MS-18 transport cargo vehicle.

At 23:15 pm Moscow time, the mooring and orientation engines of the Progress MS-18 transport cargo vehicle were fired for 361 seconds to perform the nudge.
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The debris were from the Fengyun-1C, a Chinese weather satellite that was launched in 1999 and decommissioned in 2002 but remained in orbit. China destroyed the satellite in 2007 using a ballistic missile from the ground as part of an anti-satellite test.

The blast resulted in the creation of over 3,000 pieces of space debris and was criticized by several countries including the United States. The debris from the Fengyun-1C is expected to stay in orbit for decades.

According to Roscomos, the minimum distance between the debris and the space station was just 600 metres, posing a threat to the ISS. After the corrective maneuver, the altitude of the ISS has been increased by 1240 metres, putting it 420.72 km from earth.
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NASA and Elon Musk-owned SpaceX today launched four astronauts to the ISS. The Crew-3 is on a six-month science mission on the space station.

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