While flight control teams were preparing for today’s U.S. spacewalk, updated tracking data on a fragment of Russian Fregat-SB upper stage debris showed a close approach to station. Based on this new data, flight control teams directed the crew to stop spacewalk preparations as the ground team stepped into procedures to perform a Pre-Determined Debris Avoidance Maneuver (PDAM.)
The maneuver will use the Roscosmos Progress 81 thrusters to provide the complex an extra measure of distance away from the predicted track of the debris. Thruster firing is targeted to occur at 8:42 a.m. EST. The crew is not in any immediate danger.
Without the maneuver, it is predicted that the fragment could pass within less than a quarter mile from the station.
NASA managers will assess the next possible opportunity to perform the day’s planned spacewalk to install a new set of roll-out solar arrays to augment the station’s power capabilities.
Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.
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