Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Space Debris Prompts Precautions At Station

The six crew members aboard the International Space Station are working inside the outpost again after the close approach of space debris prompted the astronauts and cosmonauts to shelter in Russian Soyuz spacecraft at the complex.

The piece of debris passed without incident after radar tracking showed it could come within 820 feet of the outpost. NASA and its station partners invoke safety precautions whenever micrometeorites or orbital debris are projected to sweep within close proximity of the outpost.

A piece of debris as small as a dime could puncture the hull of the station, potentially prompting an emergency evacuation. Two three-seat Russian Soyuz spacecraft always are parked at the outpost to serve as lifeboats in the event of an emergency.

Station commander Andrey Borisenko and two flight engineers -- Alexander Samokutyaev and Ron Garan -- took shelter in one of the Soyuz. Sergei Volkov, Michael Fossum and Satoshi Furukawa strapped into the other spacecraft until an all clear was given.

1 comment:

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