NASA Assesses Debris Risk To ISS


NASA announced that flight controllers and experts on orbital debris are currently assessing the risk posed by orbital debris that will pass close to the ISS today. The orbital debris in this case doesn’t come from chunks of a satellite Russia blew up in an anti-satellite missile test.

Rather the risk in this instance comes from a piece of orbital debris left behind by a Pegasus rocket. The debris will pass near the ISS on Friday morning. NASA says that it is gearing up to perform a debris avoidance maneuver if required.

The debris was expected to pass near the satellite at 5:30 AM EST on Friday. If the ISS has to be moved to avoid the debris, the maneuver would happen at about 3 AM. NASA maintains the crew members aren’t in any danger, even if the avoidance maneuver has to be performed.

The debris is object 39915 and was created during the breakup of object 23106 in 1994. The upper stage of that rocket broke up in orbit in June 1996.