There has been movement on the side of the International Space Station (ISS) last Thursday, June 16. According to the information, the laboratory in orbit had to perform an evasive maneuver for reduce the risk of collision with space debris. The debris in question came from of an anti-satellite test conducted by Russia in November 2021.
According to the Russian space agency Roscosmosthey turned on the thrusters of the cargo ship Progress 81 on June 16 to avoid a dangerous object. The Progress spacecraft is currently docked to the ISS and its thrusters were able to bring the station to safety from debris from the Russian satellite Cosmos 1408.
Roscosmos posted a video showing this evasive maneuver on Telegram. Dmitry Rogozinthe first official of the agency, confirmed the use of the cargo ship to allow the ISS to take cover.
No danger for the crew
To change the trajectory of the ISS, the Progress 81 spacecraft had to turn on its thrusters for 4 minutes and 34 seconds. This allowed the space lab to move away from the path of the space junk. The maneuver made it possible to slightly raise the orbit of the space station.
On the side of NASA, the officials indicated that the crew members present on board the ISS were at no time in danger. They added that the maneuver had no effect on operations aboard the station.
According to predictions, if the ISS had not carried out this maneuver, the space debris would have passed within 310 m of it.
A dangerous test
According to NASA, the Cosmos 1408 satellite was a Tselina-D type satellite of the Soviet Electronic and Signal Intelligence. It had been launched in 1982.
On November 15, 2021, Russia decided to destroy the satellite, which was no longer functional. They have used an anti-satellite missile as part of a testbut the firing caused the formation of about 1,500 pieces of space junk. Because of the presence of this debris, the astronauts on board the ISS had to take shelter that day.
According to specialists, the debris from this anti-satellite test will continue to pose a danger to the ISS and the various spacecraft for several years.