Space Station crew can stay put despite debris
November 23rd, 2011
09:37 AM ET

Space Station crew can stay put despite debris

A piece of debris hurling through space no longer presents enough of a threat to force the International Space Station crew to move, NASA said late Tuesday.

"NASA flight controllers downgraded conjunction threat," the agency announced on its official Twitter feed. "No need to shelter in place required on space station."

Earlier, NASA had said the crew would shelter in place, meaning the three crew members would move into the Soyuz vehicle attached to the space station.

The debris is a 4-inch diameter chunk of a Chinese weather satellite, which is expected to pass by at 4:43 a.m. ET.

Earlier Tuesday, NASA spokesman Kelly Humphries said the debris was approaching the station at 5 kilometers per second.

The Chinese Fengyun 1C was destroyed in 2007 by a missile test.

Cmdr. Dan Burbank and flight engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin arrived at the Space Station just last week.

Monday's departure of the previous crew slightly changed the station's orbit, making a Wednesday collision with the debris a possibility, NASA said.

The space station has had several close calls with space debris.

In June 2011, an object came about 1,100 feet from the station, prompting the six astronauts aboard to take shelter inside two Soyuz capsules.

In March 2009, a chunk of metal - about 5 inches across, and moving at nearly 20,000 mph - passed within three miles of the station, prompting the three-member crew into the Soyuz return ship for about 10 minutes, NASA said. The debris came from a satellite rocket motor used on an earlier space mission, NASA said.

CNN's Jason Hanna contributed to this report.

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soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Maitechu

    The American people have ocebme like Piranhas, feeding away non stop until their is nothing left.How can the american people ignore the energy that Obama created for America after wiining the elections, how can the American people(Rep.) ignore that reality? they felt it too! im sure, instead they translated it to fear, the only tactic they know Any how, I never felt or saw anything like it on that day of our Presidential victory!! not to mention how it was felt Worldwide!After 8 years of Bush creating that perfect gap between the elite and the middle class , poor people,creating a frightend, sick. less confident and uneducated America, he met his objective, Yet I can also understand how dificult it is for Republican Conservatives to step aside now, imagine having to give up 8 years of what the Bush admisntration has provided, it must be tough??? Its like teaching an old dog new tricks, obviously that old dog is not interested when he can simply be fed and lay all day long on that Big Ass Porch! Now President Obama has to keep the boat afloat for Republicans and Democrats and anyone in between to balance this nation that allows you to be all we can be!In 8 years I didnt see Bush perform any miracles! so why should Obama in just 1??? Let them man work and help thy neighbor!!!!

    April 8, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
  2. Lee Scarborough

    Come on guys! Love ya but can you at least post a current shot of the ISS with this story.

    November 24, 2011 at 8:23 am |

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