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Station fires engines to avoid orbital debris


The International Space Station

WASHINGTON (BNS): NASA ground controllers have moved the International Space Station to avoid some orbital debris before the launch of Expedition 27 from Kazakhstan on Monday evening.

The object is a relic from a collision between the COSMOS 2251 and Iridium 33 satellites in February 2009 and had been close to the station’s orbit prior to the debris avoidance maneuver (DAM).

The DAM, performed on Friday at 10:36 p.m. EDT, during the Expedition 27 crew sleep period, used thrusters from three spacecraft, the European Space Agency’s Johannes Kepler Automated Transfer Vehicle 2 (ATV2), the Zvezda service module and Progress 41P, NASA said.

Mission Control Center had been monitoring a series of conjunctions between the International Space Station and the orbital debris. The Expedition 27 crew was informed of the possible conjunction and planned maneuver.

The maneuver is not expected to significantly affect the launch time for the Soyuz TMA-21 Monday at 6:18 p.m. EDT, or the April 19 launch of Endeavour, NASA said.

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NASA  ISS  Debris  

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