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ExoLance
Shuttle and station dodge debris
Posted: Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 9:08 AM ET (1308 GMT)
STS-119: logo (NASA) As the crews of the space shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station worked on a urine recycling device, the docked vehicles maneuvered to avoid a small piece of space debris. Discovery fired its thrusters Sunday to move the shuttle and the station out of the path of a piece of Chinese orbital debris approximately 10 centimeters long. The maneuver ensures that the debris would not pose a risk to astronauts during an EVA on Monday. The crew, meanwhile, worked on a urine recycling unit added to the station last year but in need of a new distillation assembly brought to the station by the shuttle. Early tests of the unit encountered unexpectedly low flow rates of fluid through the system, but replacing a filter appeared to at least partially solve the problem. Monday's spacewalk, by Joseph Acaba and Richard Arnold, is the third and final one of the STS-119 mission; the two will attempt to finish some tasks left uncompleted during Saturday's EVA as well as perform other station maintenance.
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