International Space Station on alert for incoming space junk


INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION (BNO NEWS) — The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is considering to order three astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to take shelter because of incoming space junk.

A NASA spokesman on early Tuesday afternoon said the agency is monitoring a small piece of space junk that is drifting towards the ISS. It is part of a Chinese satellite that was launched in 1999 and is about 6 inches (15.2 cm) in size.

“The closest approach is supposed to be at 4.21 p.m. Eastern,” a NASA spokesman said, adding that the agency will decide by 3 p.m. Eastern whether or not the crew will have to take shelter in the Russian Soyuz capsule. “We do our best to track these possibilities. We don’t have any way of predicting exactly what is going to happen,” he said.

If the crew is asked to shelter in place, the spokesman said, it will be on live NASA TV starting at 4 p.m. Eastern. There ISS crew currently consists of an American, an Italian, and a Russian astronaut.

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