The Soyuz spacecraft is photographed docked to the International Space Station during a mission of Russian cosmonauts in open space in this handout picture released August 24, 2012. Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Yuri Malenchenko conducted a 5 hour 50 minute-long mission in open space on August 20, 2012. (Photo : Reuters)
The International Space Station is planning to move into a different orbit to avoid any collision with debris fragments floating in space, it announced on Wednesday.
According to The Associated Press, Mission Control Center spokeswoman Nadyezhda Zavyalova said the operation will be carried out on Thursday at 7:22 a.m. Moscow time. Russian Zvevda module will fire boos rockets to carry out the operation, Zavyalova said.
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The International Space Station narrowly missed being hit by a broken Russian satellite and the remains of an Indian rocket last week, the Daily Mail reported. The two debris fragments passed within miles of the ISS leaving the astronauts on board tense and waiting for disaster to strike.
The AP reported that the space station performs evasive maneuvers like these when the likelihood of a collision exceeds one in 10,000. An debris avoidance maneuver is normally ordered when a piece of orbital debris is expected to pass through the rectangular safety perimeter that surrounds the space station for 15 miles, the Daily Mail reported.
NASA reported that there are more than 21,000 fragments of debris floating in the Earth's orbit measuring more than 3.9 inches. The excess of floating orbital debris could become a growing problem for the space industry, the AP reported.
There are a total of six astronauts on board the International Space Station-three Russians, two Americans and one Japanese. NASA astronaut Sunita Williams is currently in command of the space station.
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