International Space Station dodges Chinese space junk

Orbit raised by mile to avoid old satellite

NASA

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The International Space Station is out of harm's way after flying higher to avoid space junk.

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Flight controllers raised the space station's orbit by a mile Wednesday. That's because a small piece of debris from an old Chinese satellite was going to come dangerously close. Without the maneuver, the two objects would have come within seven-tenths of a mile later in the morning, too close for NASA's comfort.

The three space station astronauts were informed of the situation. NASA says they were never in danger.

A maneuver had been planned anyway for later Wednesday in preparation for the launch of three more astronauts on Nov. 23 from Kazakhstan. Now, that engine firing won't be needed.

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