The International Space Station had to turn on its Progress 75 thruster to avoid colliding with an unknown piece of space debris.
“The maneuver raised the station’s orbit out of the predicted path of the debris, which was estimated to come within 1.39 kilometers of the station with a time of closest approach,” said NASA.
The 150-second reboost required closing the hatches between the Russian and US segment. Members of the Expedition 63 crew were instructed to move to the Russian segment to be closer to the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft in case of collision.
The station is preparing to avoid a piece of unknown space debris being tracked by @NASA_Johnson flight controllers and @US_SpaceCom. The Exp 63 crew has relocated to its Soyuz crew ship. The time of closest approach is 6:21 pm ET. More… https://t.co/vGPOoaEptb pic.twitter.com/uMRctPukN2
— Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station) September 22, 2020
“At no time was the crew in any danger,” said NASA.
This isn’t the first time the ISS has had to get out of the way of space junk but NASA are concerned that the debris issue in space is getting worse.
“In the last 2 weeks, there have been 3 high concern potential conjunctions. Debris is getting worse!” said Head of NASA, Jim Bridenstein.