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ISS crew take shelter from space debris

Jenny Winder, News Writer
Jul 17, 2015, 1:17 UTC

Sen—The crew of the International Space Station (ISS) have been given the all clear after being forced to shelter from the close approach of a piece of space debris.

The debris, from an old Russian weather satellite, passed closest to the station at about 12:01 UTC today. The three man crew took shelter in the Russian Soyuz capsule, which acts as a lifeboat, currently docked to the station, and remained there during the debris pass as a precaution. 

This was the fourth time that a crew of the space station has had to take refuge in the Soyuz, used to transport astronauts to and from the ISS, due to a potential threat of debris. With enough warning the ISS can usually be manoeuvred out of the way when debris threatens, but this time the debris threat came too late for flight controllers to move the space station clear.

All station systems are said to be operating normally following the all clear from Mission Control. The crew will now move out of the Soyuz and reconfigure the station to resume normal operations and the continue their research work. 

The current three crew members of Expedition 44 are NASA's Scott Kelly and Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos. For details of every human who has been in space since the first spaceflight of Yuri Gagarin on April 12, 1961, including who is in space now and their previous missions, check out Sen’s human spaceflight app.