The International Space Station was forced to change its trajectory to avoid a possible collision with space debris. According to the US space agency NASA, astronauts at the ISS carried out a maneuver to make sure that the space station is not hit by space debris. NASA said that even a small piece of space debris hits the ISS, it can cause serious damage to its equipment. It said that the space debris passed within a 1.4 km range of the ISS. The ISS has currently three crew members. NASA said that the ISS controllers, two from Russia and one from the USA, adjusted the station’s orbit during a two-and-a-half-minute operation. The operation was successful.
NASA said that it was necessary to change the ISS’ orbit. It said that the astronauts relocated near the Soyuz spacecraft so that they can evacuate if required. The precautionary action was taken to avoid a collision. NASA said that the debris was a piece of a Japanese rocket. The rocket was launched in 2018. It broke out into as many as 77 pieces in 2019. According to NASA, maneuver like is required on a regular basis. It claimed that 25 such maneuvers have taken place in a span of 21 years (1999 to 2018). This was the third time in 2020 such an exercise was carried out at the ISS.
The ISS orbits 400 kilometers above the Earth’s surface. NASA believes that such operations at the research facility in space will become more frequent in the coming years as Earth’s orbit is getting filled with pieces of rockets, satellites, and other objects. The ISS’ first module was launched in November 1998. It is a joint project by NASA and several world agencies. The space station orbits the Earth in approximately 92 minutes. It completes over 15 orbits daily. The ISS is the largest human-made structure in the low-Earth orbit. It can often be seen with the naked eye from Earth because if its size.