NASA canceled a spacewalk on Tuesday due to the space junk threat that could pierce an astronaut’s suit or damage the International Space Station (ISS).
Two astronauts were getting ready to replace a damaged antenna outside the stationBut on Monday night, Mission Control warned that orbital debris would pass dangerously close.
“Faced with the impossibility of correctly assessing the risk that it could pose to astronauts, the teams decided to postpone the tour scheduled for November 30 until they had more information.“NASA stressed. It is the first time that space junk has forced a departure from the station to be canceled.
The malfunction of the antenna located in Port 1 did not leave the ISS without communications, which has additional low-speed S-band systems, atYes like the high speed KU band communications system that transmits video, but the mission managers decided to replace it with a new one.
The threat to the station and its seven crew members has grown since Russia destroyed a satellite in a missile test two weeks ago.
It was not immediately clear if the object in question was part of the destroyed satellite. NASA officials told a news conference that the November 15 missile test left at least 1,700 chunks large enough to track and thousands more invisible from Earth but capable of piercing an astronaut’s suit.
NASA officials reported that astronauts Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron faced a 7% higher risk of a perforation due to the scrap metal generated by Russia. But they said it was within acceptable limits based on past experience.
Marshburn and Barron planned to stay six and a half hours off the ISS to replace the antenna with the help of the Canadarm2 robotic arm, controlled from the inside by Matthias maurer ESA (European Space Agency).
Maurer, Marshburn and Barron, from the mission SpaceX Crew 3, arrived at the ISS on November 11 for a six-month scientific stay aboard the Crew Dragon Endurance ship.
(With information from AP and EFE)
Russia destroyed a satellite with a missile and space debris that created a threat to the International Space Station
Space debris increases and creates the risk of no-go zones for satellites
NASA wants to build nuclear reactors on the Moon and on Mars