Roscosmos: A Piece of Space Debris Flew 1.8 km From ISS

According to Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos, a piece of space debris flew 1.8 kilometers near the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, July 08.

According to the statement, “an uncatalogued piece of space debris flew at a distance of 1.8 kilometers near the International Space Station at about 4:15 p.m. Moscow time.”

The orbit trajectories of the orbiting outpost and the space debris were very unlikely to meet, therefore there was no need for the ISS to perform an avoidance maneuver, according to the Russian space agency.

Roscosmos Chief Dmitry Rogozin stated on Wednesday that the Unknown space object would fly past the orbiting station at a distance of 4.8 kilometers. He emphasized that Roscosmos only agreed with the US side on the near-miss distance.

“We do not confirm the threat and will continue to watch the situation,” he said.

Roscosmos later said that the minimum distance between the International Space Station and a piece of space debris that might fly near to it had been reduced from 4.6 km to 1.5 km.

Earlier on Thursday, the Russian space agency stated that the chances of the space debris colliding with the ISS were nil, and that no orbit modification of the station was necessary.

Igor Bakaras, head of the Information Analytical Center at the Central Research Institute of Machine-Building (TsNIIMash, a branch of the space agency Roscosmos), previously told TASS that Russia’s Automated Warning System of Hazardous Situations in Near-Earth Space registered 220 near-misses with the International Space Station in 2020.

To avoid a collision with space debris, the orbit of the space station has to be altered twice in 2020, he noted.