Headlines > News > Station Debris Avoidance Maneuver Conducted

Station Debris Avoidance Maneuver Conducted

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:26 pm via: NASA
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Playing it conservatively, flight controllers conducted a Pre-Determined Debris Avoidance Maneuver (PDAM) Sunday night at 9:37 p.m.EDT to provide a healthy margin of clearance from the projected path of a piece of Russian METEOR 2-5 satellite debris that was calculated earlier in the day to approach the neighborhood of the International Space Station. The Russian satellite was launched in late October 1979.

The 7-minute, 9-second maneuver, which was coordinated throughout the day between NASA and Russian flight controllers, used the ISS Progress 54 thrusters from the Pirs Docking Compartment for an increase of one-half statute mile in the station’s altitude. Ballistics officers determined that a fragment of unknown size from the satellite would have made its closest approach to the station around midnight Eastern time, passing within about 1900 feet of the ISS at its radial distance, with an overall miss distance between the debris and the ISS estimated at about 10.5 statute miles.

The avoidance maneuver was the first conducted by the ISS since October 31, 2012. The three-man crew, which was notified of the possibility of a maneuver on Sunday, was asleep at the time of the reboost and was never in any danger. The maneuver had no impact on station operations nor will it have any effect on the orbital trajectory of the station for the upcoming single-day launch and docking of the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft and the Expedition 39/40 crew that will liftoff from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on March 26, Kazakh time for a six-month mission on the complex.

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