Russian media say US rocket will approach 5 km from ISS • The Register


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Russian news agency TASS reported that a piece of a US Pegasus carrier rocket is expected to pass the International Space Station (ISS) at a minimum distance of 5.4 km this week.

In a report that totally failed to mention the debris cloud created by a Russian anti-satellite test a few weeks ago, the Roscosmos space agency said: “No decision has been made on the need for a avoidance maneuver.

“Specialists from the Flight Control Center and the Main Information and Analysis Center continue to keep the situation under control.”

So it’s OK then.

Russian media also noted that the last time debris approached the station was on November 25, “when a fragment of an American Falcon 9 rocket flew at a distance of more than 3 miles ahead. – orbital station “.

As a reminder, the ISS crew were forced to take cover in November after Russia destroyed one of its old space satellites, spewing debris into Earth orbit. The madness of the movement was, frankly, breathtaking. What about the refuge used by the ISS crew? As former Space Shuttle Program Director Wayne Hale put it, “Like Capt Young used to call some of our Shuttle Abandon procedures, ‘It’s something to do while you are waiting to die. ‘ Safe Haven is the best that can be done, it might even come in handy. But don’t kid yourself. “

TASS’s latest broadcast follows grim accusations made late last week when another Russian publication was cited (citing anonymous sources) as claiming the mysterious hole in the living compartment of Soyuz MS-09 had been pierced by NASA astronaut Serena Maria Auñón-Chancellor for personal reasons.

The cause of the hole was never made public, and in 2018 Roscosmos boss Dmitry Rogozin insisted the agency had never accused NASA of the damage, speaking to the spokesperson. of TASS to say, “I categorically deny these allegations as being totally false.”

NASA has yet to comment on the latest accusations in Russian media, nor the source of the debris that caused yesterday’s brutal spacewalk. A few more ill-conceived ASAT incidents, and the mystery of who drove a hole in the Soyuz will be the least of the ISS’s problems. ®

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