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Business News/ Science / News/  Russian spacecraft comes alarmingly close to colliding with US satellite, NASA ‘very shocked’
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Russian spacecraft comes alarmingly close to colliding with US satellite, NASA ‘very shocked’

An American satellite narrowly avoided a collision with a Russian satellite in space, raising concerns of potential danger to human lives. NASA's Deputy Administrator expressed deep concern over the incident in February 2024.

This image provided by NASA shows backdropped by a blue and white part of Earth, the International Space Station is seen from Space Shuttle Discovery. (AP Photo/NASA) (Representative Image)Premium
This image provided by NASA shows backdropped by a blue and white part of Earth, the International Space Station is seen from Space Shuttle Discovery. (AP Photo/NASA) (Representative Image)

An American satellite narrowly avoided destruction when it came within 10 meters of a Russian satellite in space. 

According to a report by The Mirror US citing experts, a collision between the two could have “endangered lives". NASA's Deputy Administrator, Colonel Pam Melroy expressed deep concern over the incident that occurred in February 2024. Despite efforts, neither satellite could be manoeuvred, resulting in an alarming near miss.

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The report further stated Melroy said while speaking at the Space Foundation’s Space Symposium in Colorado, “It was very shocking personally and for all of us at NASA. On February 28, a NASA spacecraft called Timed and a Russian satellite, neither of them manoeuvrable, were expected to make a close path."

“We recently learnt that the path ended up being less than 10 metres apart, less than the distance of me to the front row. Had the two satellites collided, we would have seen debris generation, tiny shards travelling at 10,000 miles per hour, waiting to puncture a hole in another spacecraft and potentially putting human lives at risk."

Russian space authorities confirmed on Wednesday that there is an ongoing air leak in the Russian part of the International Space Station. However, they assured that it does not pose any threat to the crew, the report stated.

Furthermore, the Roscosmos state corporation stated that experts are closely monitoring the situation and the crew “regularly conducts work to locate and fix possible spots of the leak."

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“There is no threat to the crew or the station itself," it said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies.

Additionally, Roscosmos' comment came after remarks from Joel Montalbano, NASA's station project manager, who mentioned on Wednesday that the air leak in the Russian segment has grown, though he stressed that it remains minor and does not jeopardise the safety of the crew or the operations of the vehicle.

Earlier in November 2021, a possible leak was identified in another area of the Russia segment of the station. Both Roscosmos and NASA reassured that the leak did not pose any risk to the crew and did not disrupt station operations.

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Published: 11 Apr 2024, 01:54 PM IST
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