Space debris threatens ISS: report

The International Space Station is in danger of being hit by two pieces of debris from an old Russian satellite that had previously hit a US craft in 2009, a news report said on Wednesday.

The space station will encounter pieces of the Kosmos 2251 military spy orbiter in the next few days, the Interfax news agency quoted a source at Russian Mission Control as saying.

"Two fragments of the Kosmos 2251 craft may pose a danger to the station," the unnamed source was quoted as saying.

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The source added that the station may now have to manoeuvre out of the path of the approaching debris in a special operation tentatively planned for Thursday.

The Kosmos 2251 satellite was launched by Russia in 1993 and decommissioned just two years later.

The satellite crashed into a US Iridium-33 satellite in February 2009 in the first such space accident of its kind. The collision created hundreds of smaller fragments that pose a danger to both the station and other satellites.

© 2012 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Sep 26, 2012