It's going to keep happening.
Dodge and Burn
The International Space Station had to ignite its thrusters for upwards of five minutes on Monday to dodge pieces of the satellite Russia intentionally blew up with a missile last year.
NASA acknowledged the maneuver in a very dry announcement last night that seemed engineered not to inflame tension with Russia, with which the agency co-manages the space station.
"Without the maneuver, it was predicted that the fragment could have passed within about three miles from the station," NASA wrote.
Russia's highly controversial anti-satellite missile test, which took place in November 2021, blew up an out-of-commission Russian satellite into over 1,500 trackable pieces of space debris.
The unexpected test even reportedly forced crews on board the ISS to shelter in their escape vehicles in case any of the debris had made impact. This summer, Russia even acknowledged that debris from the explosion had forced the station to perform yet another dodge.
After the blast, the US government responded with absolute outrage.
"We will work with our allies and partners in different ways to make clear that the United States, that the international community is not going to tolerate this kind of irresponsible behavior," US State Department spokesperson Ned Price noted at the time.
NASA head Bill Nelson piled on, calling the blast "unconscionable" and saying it could "endanger not only the American and international partner astronauts on the ISS, but also their own cosmonauts."
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