Space debris threatened International Space Station, astronauts temporarily evacuated
Thursday, March 12, 2009
In memos published by NASAspaceflight.com, the object was described as "elliptical with a low perigee". It was unclear what kind of damage the debris would have caused if it had collided with the ISS. "Tracking of the small piece of debris/MMOD (Micrometeoroid Orbital Debris) was initially classed as a low threat of collision with the ISS.
Universe Today reported the object as being large, while BNOnews said the object was small, about 0.009 meters.
At 12:34 EDT, "as a contingency, NASA’s Expedition 18 Commander Mike Fincke, Russian Flight Engineer Yury Lonchakov, and NASA’s Sandra Magnus were asked to 'evacuate' into the Russian Soyuz, which would serve as their means of departing from the Station - should it be required," added NASA.
Approximately 10 minutes later, after the threat had passed, the crew returned to its normal duties.
- "Tiny space debris causes ISS emergency measures" — , March 12, 2009
- "RED threshold late notice conjunction threat to ISS - Crew evac to Soyuz" — , March 12, 2009