The International Space Station (ISS) had to change its orbit in space to avoid being hit by a piece of a Chinese satellite.Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos announced on November 10 that the International Space Station (ISS) had to adjust its orbit to avoid a collision with the Chinese satellite Fengyun-1C debris.
“The orbit of the ISS was raised on November 10 to avoid collisions with space debris. According to preliminary data, the station’s orbit has been raised about 1.2 km,” the statement said.
To adjust the orbit of the ISS, the astronauts on the ISS activated the thrusters on the Russian Progress MS-18 cargo ship to help lift the ISS.
According to the New York Times, the debris is part of Fengyun-1C, a weather satellite that was launched by China in 1999 and decommissioned in 2002 but is still in orbit.
In 2007, China tested an anti-satellite weapon by firing a ground-based ballistic missile at Fengyun-1C, breaking it into 3,000 pieces.
Before the ISS lifted its orbit, scientists had predicted that the debris would probably hit the ISS on the evening of 11/11. Therefore, the US space agency NASA and Roscosmos decided to adjust the ISS to avoid debris.However, according to the New York Times, a large portion of Fengyun-1C’s debris is expected to remain in orbit for decades, and could pose a threat to the ISS and other spacecraft.
Since 1999, the ISS has had to move 29 times to avoid hitting space junk. In some cases, astronauts have to board the spacecraft and prepare for an emergency departure to avoid the scenario of the ISS being hit and damaged.