Press Release

Space Debris No Threat to Station

By SpaceRef Editor
April 5, 2011
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Space Debris No Threat to Station
Space Debris No Threat to Station

Tracking data now indicates that a piece of orbital debris being monitored by Mission Control Houston will not pass close enough to the International Space Station to warrant the Expedition 27 crew members taking safe haven within their Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft.

Mission Control gave the crew the all-clear at 2:41 p.m. EDT as the space station orbited 220 miles above eastern Asia.

Flight controllers have been monitoring the debris from the Chinese FENGYUN 1C satellite since early this morning, and informed Commander Dmitry Kondratyev at 7:01 a..m. EDT that the station crew would need to begin the shelter procedures if it remained on track.

The time of closest approach is at 4:21 p.m. EDT.

For more information about orbital debris and how the International Space Station team tracks and responds to threats, visit: Orbital debris and the International Space Station

Meanwhile, NASA astronaut Ron Garan and Russian cosmonauts Andrey Borisenko and Alexander Samokutyaev continue their journey to the station aboard the Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft following their launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 6:18 p.m. EDT Monday (4:18 a.m. Tuesday, Kazakhstan time). Their Soyuz, named for Yuri Gagarin, lifted off just one week shy of the 50th anniversary of Gagarin’s historic journey into space from that same launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

The trio will dock to the Poisk module at 7:18 p.m. Wednesday, bringing the Expedition 27 crew to its full six-member complement. Garan, Borisenko and Samokutyaev will join the current station residents, Expedition 27 Commander Dmitry Kondratyev and Flight Engineers Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli, and begin a nearly six-month tour of duty aboard the orbiting laboratory.

Kondratyev, Coleman and Nespoli arrived Dec. 17 aboard their Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft.

SpaceRef staff editor.