The last thing you want to do, be it in your car or riding in the space station, is just run over some junk and possibly damage your vehicle. Hence, the International Space Station is swerving to avoid some space junk. Don’t be too alarmed, though; moving the space station to avoid collisions is fairly common. Astronauts shift the station around whenever there is a 1 in 10,000 chance that something may hit the space station.
The Russian-made Zvevda module will fire its boosters and move the space station at 7:22 AM Moscow time, according to Russia’s Mission Control Center spokeswoman Nadyezhda Zavyalova. After all, it’s better to move the station than to try to repair damage done to it. Not everything can be fixed with a toothbrush, and the six astronauts on board will not even have to leave the module for the move to be accomplished.
NASA estimates that there are over 21,000 pieces of space junk 3.9 inches in diameter or larger in Earth’s orbit, which means there are 21,000 pieces of space junk able to rip a hole into the space station like a tiny meteor. That’s not even taking into account natural hazards.
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