As Space.com reports, Russia’s space agency Roscosmos used an uncrewed Progress 81 cargo ship docked at the ISS to move the orbiting laboratory from a piece of space junk from the Russian satellite Kosmos 1408 went.
“I confirm that at 22.03 Moscow time, the engines of the Russian Progress MS-20 transport cargo ship made an unscheduled maneuver to avoid a dangerous approach to the International Space Station with a fragment of the Kosmos-1408 spacecraft,” said Roscosmos chief According to a Google Translate, Dmitry wrote Rogozin on Telegram for Progress 81, using the designation of Roscosmos.
“The crew was never in any danger and the maneuver had no effect on station operations,” NASA officials wrote in an update. “Without the maneuver, it was estimated that the piece could have passed within about half a mile from the station.”
According to a NASA report, Kosmos 1408 was a Soviet electronic and signals intelligence focused Selina-D satellite that was launched from Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia in 1982.
Russia destroyed the inactive satellite in a November 2021 anti-satellite missile test, leaving an estimated 1,500 pieces of orbital debris.
Astronauts on the space station were forced to take refuge on November 15 last year due to concerns about space debris. Many experts have said that it could pose a threat to the space station and other spacecraft for years to come.
Earlier in May, the European Space Agency (ESA) said that its Earth-observing Sentinel-1A satellite barely survived a “high-risk collision” from the same test, which found more than 1,500 of trackable orbital debris in space. More pieces were produced.
Even though the Russian satellite orbited more than 200 km from Sentinel-1A, the energy released during its explosion pushed its fragments upward, cutting the satellite’s orbit.
As a result, the team said that Sentinel-1A had to “change its orbit by 140 m” to “prevent a collision with a piece of debris”. Although Sentinel-1A is now safe, ESA called against the threat of such space debris.
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