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Explore Mars event
Debris poses brief concern for station
Posted: Sun, Nov 8, 2009, 6:55 PM ET (2355 GMT)
A small piece of space debris passed close to the station late Friday, close enough that mission controllers briefly considered having the station's crew move to the Soyuz spacecraft docked there. The debris, about 5 centimeters across, passed about 500 meters from the station Friday night. The close approach was monitored earlier in the day, and station managers planned to have the six crewmembers move to the two Soyuz spacecraft docked there as a precautionary move. That plan was not carried out, though, when it became clear the debris posed no hazard to the station. The event was the second time in as many weeks that debris affected the station's operations: last week the undocking of a Japanese cargo vessel was delayed by one orbit to avoid having it get too close to a debris object after undocking.
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