NASA: Chinese space junk not close to Space Station, Expedition 27 members safe

By on Apr 6, 2011 in Astronomy, Science Comments

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced that the Chinese space junk is not close enough to hit the International Space Station, ensuring that the Expedition 27 crew members are safe.



Expedition 27 patch
Image Credit: NASA.gov

As published at Space.com on Tuesday, April 5, 2011, NASA said that the space junk from Fengyun-1C, a Chinese satellite that was destroyed in 2007, which is fast approaching the International Space Station.

According to NASA officials on its latest update, that Chinese space junk will not pose any danger to the three-man crew of Expedition 27, which was launched last December, and there is no need to for them to find shelter.

“The probability of a collision became low enough that it wasn’t a high enough risk that we would need to shelter in place,” NASA spokesman Kelly Humpries was quoted as saying.

Earlier on Friday, NASA’s Mission Control at Houston was said to be monitoring closely the traveling of the space junk which was believed to be get close to the International Space Station at 4:21 pm (EDT) on Tuesday.

The three Russian Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft crew members were warned to find shelter, which are composed of NASA astronaut Cady Coleman, European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli, and Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev, who commands the spacecraft.

Apparently, the space junk was realized to be flying nearly 5.3 kilometers (3.3 miles) at its closest approach to the space station with the speed of 5 miles per second which is not being considered now as a threat.

Incidentally, the second half of Expedition 27 was also launched on Monday and is expected to dock at the space station on Wednesday, as being carried by the Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft.



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