Space Station Maneuvers to Avoid Debris After Conjunction Postpones Spacewalk

The space station was pictured from the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour during its departure on Nov. 8, 2021.
The space station was pictured from the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour during its departure on Nov. 8, 2021.

The International Space Station conducted a Pre-Determined Debris Avoidance Maneuver (PDAM) today, Dec. 21, at 8:42 a.m. EST. The decision to conduct the maneuver was based on tracking data that showed a close approach to station of a fragment of Russian Fregat-SB upper stage debris.

During the manuever, the Roscosmos Progress 81 thrusters fired for 10 minutes, 21 seconds to provide the complex an extra measure of distance away from the predicted track of the debris. Without the maneuver, it was estimated that the debris could have passed less than a quarter of a mile from the station.

The decision to conduct the maneuver earlier this morning resulted in a postponement of today’s planned spacewalk by NASA astronauts Frank Rubio and Josh Cassada. The crew was never in any immediate danger.


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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