This is the terrifying moment when the astronauts aboard the space station were ordered to prepare for evacuation due to incoming space junk.
Audio recorded Monday from the Orbiting Space Lab captured the moment mission control ordered the crew to don their spacesuits and again after a Russian missile test flew debris on their way. was put into the craft entering from.
An undeclared weapons test hit a defunct Soviet satellite, creating 1,500 pieces of debris that threatened the lives of seven astronauts.
In the recording, NASA Commander Raja Chari is heard discussing with Mission Control the threat of a direct hit to the International Space Station (ISS).
The team in Houston recommends keeping the ISS crew bundle in its Crew Dragon escape pod, as it is unlikely to be hit by debris.
“If it’s more than half an hour, I think we’ll be friendly and potentially back home if the dragon hits,” Mr Chari told Mission Control.
The ISS crew currently consists of four American cosmonauts, one German cosmonaut and two Russian cosmonauts.
They were directed to take shelter in their docked spacecraft capsule for two hours after the test to allow a quick escape.
The dangerous junk is expected to pose a threat to space activities in the coming years as it orbits the Earth approximately once every 90 minutes.
NASA’s top boss slams Russia over “reckless” missile test.
“Earlier today, due to debris resulting from the disastrous Russian Anti-Satellite (ASAT) test, ISS astronauts and astronauts performed emergency procedures to safety,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
“I am outraged by this irresponsible and destabilizing action.
“With its long and storied history in human space flight, it is unimaginable that Russia would put at risk not only American and international fellow astronauts on the ISS, but its own astronauts as well.
“Their actions are reckless and dangerous, as well as a threat to the Chinese space station and the tycoons on board.”
After the test, the research laboratory continued to orbit about 250 miles (402 km) above Earth, passing by or near the debris cluster every 90 minutes.
However, NASA experts determined it was safe for the crew to return to the station’s interior after the third pass, the agency said.
According to NASA, the crew was also ordered to temporarily close the hatches in several modules of the space station.
“All countries have a responsibility to prevent the purposeful creation of space debris from ASAT and to promote a safe, sustainable space environment,” Nelson said.
“NASA will continue to monitor the wreckage in the coming days and to ensure the safety of our crew in orbit.”
Experts say tests of weapons that shatter satellites in orbit pose a threat to space, creating a cloud of fragments that can collide with other objects, causing a chain reaction of projectiles through Earth’s orbit. it occurs.
The Russian military and defense ministry were not immediately available for comment.
The US Space Command said in a statement that the direct-ascent anti-satellite missile fired by Russia generated more than 1,500 pieces of “trackable orbital debris” and would likely produce hundreds of thousands of smaller fragments.
“Russia has demonstrated a willful disregard for the safety, security, stability and long-term stability of the space domain for all nations,” said US Army General James Dickinson, head of Space Command.
“The debris from the missile test will continue to be a threat to activities in outer space for years to come, endangering satellites and space missions, as well as forcing more collision avoidance maneuvers,” he said.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the missile test, calling it “reckless and irresponsible”. At the Pentagon, spokesman John Kirby said the test showed the need to firmly establish norms of behavior in space.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed allegations that Moscow blew up one of its own satellites with a missile strike.
“Declaring that the Russian Federation poses a risk to the peaceful use of space is the least amount of hypocrisy,” Lavrov told a news conference in Moscow. There are “no facts” behind the claims.
The event happened just four days after the latest group of four space station astronauts — American King Chair, Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barone of NASA and Mathias Maurer, a fellow of Germany’s European Space Agency — embarked on a six-month science mission to orbit. reached the stage. ,
He was received by three space station crew members already aboard – Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov and American cosmonaut Mark Vande Hei.
The space station, stretching end to end the size of an American football field, has been continuously occupied since November 2000.
It is operated by an international partnership of five space agencies from 15 countries, including Russia’s Roscosmos.
Russia is not the first country to conduct anti-satellite tests in space. The United States made the first demonstration in 1959, when satellites were rare and new.
Russia conducted another test of an anti-satellite missile in April as officials have said space will become a critical domain for warfare.
In 2019, India shot down a satellite of its own in low-Earth orbit with a surface-to-space missile.
The US military relies on satellites to determine what it does on the ground, guide it with space-based lasers and satellites, as well as use such assets to monitor missile launches and track its forces. Is.
These tests have raised questions about the long-term sustainability of space operations required for a vast range of commercial activities, including banking and GPS services.
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Facebook has announced that it is changing its name to “Meta”.
The company is working to create live avatars of its users that they can control in virtual worlds called “Metaverse”.
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