WASHINGTON, July 16. /TASS/. The International Space Station (ISS) has avoided a collision with space debris that closely approached the orbiting outpost, US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) reported on Thursday.
"The crew of the International Space Station has moved into the Soyuz vehicle docked to the station as a precaution due to an anticipated close approach of a piece of space debris to the orbiting complex," NASA said.
Now the ISS crew "is resuming normal operations after getting an all clear from Mission Control following a close pass by space debris this morning at 7:01 a.m. CDT," NASA reported.
"All station systems are operating normally and the crew will move out of the Soyuz spacecraft in which they stayed during the debris pass. They will reconfigure the station for normal operations and then continue their research work during the day. This was the fourth time in the history of station operations that the crew has moved to the Soyuz due to a potential close pass of debris. This debris was from an old Russian weather satellite," NASA said.Russia’s Federal Space Agency Roscosmos confirmed to TASS the reports that the space debris threat has passed. "There is no threat to the ISS. Such situations occur quite often and the cosmonauts have the corresponding conduct regulations for this. In this case, the crew acted according to the regulations. The threat has passed," Russian Space Agency spokesman Igor Burenkov said. According to him, the debris flew at some distance from the ISS.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Mission Control Centre (MCC) outside Moscow reported that the space debris approach data came too late to conduct a manoeuvre for the International Space Station (ISS) orbit adjustment. The space debris data came unexpectedly, so we had no time to conduct the ISS orbit adjustment operation," an MCC representative said. "The actions of the crew for the evacuation to the Soyuz spacecraft were conducted in the nominal mode, communication is permanently maintained with the crew," he said.
The current ISS crew comprises Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko and American astronaut Scott Kelly.