NASA: Space station remains at high risk from shot satellite

AP , Thursday 18 Nov 2021

The International Space Station remains at increased risk from orbiting debris following this week's Russian weapons test, NASA said Thursday.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon
The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule approaches the International Space Station for docking. Space junk is threatening the seven astronauts aboard the International Space Station and forcing them to seek shelter in their docked capsules. AP

On Monday, Russia launched a missile to destroy a satellite orbiting just above the space station.

NASA said late Wednesday that the highest threat to the station and its seven residents was in the first 24 hours. Hatches between many of the station compartments were closed as a precaution, but they were reopened Wednesday.

The U.S. Space Command is tracking more than 1,500 satellite fragments, but hundreds of thousands of pieces are too small to see. NASA and the State Department have condemned the missile strike, saying it also puts satellites and China's space station at risk.

NASA said it's reviewing an upcoming spacewalk and other station operations, to assess the risks before proceeding. The spacewalk to replace a bad antenna is targeted for Nov. 30. The space agency also plans continued inspections for potential damage.

The space station currently is home to four Americans, two Russians and one German.

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