International Space Station to manoeuvre to dodge debris
The Russian mission control centre has decided to manoeuvre the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday to avoid collision with space debris, Russian news agencies reported.
"A decision has been taken to correct the flight orbit of the ISS. The engines will be switched on at 1425 Moscow time (1025 GMT)," a spokesman for the mission control centre outside Moscow told the RIA Novosti news agency.
The space station would take 180 seconds to manoeuvre to an orbit around 500 metres higher than its current one, the spokesman told the agency.
The mission control centre said earlier that the fragment of space debris of unknown origin was extremely unlikely to collide with the ISS, with experts calculating around a 0.001 percent chance of a direct hit.
The last time that the ISS passed close to space debris was in July, when it passed fragments of a Chinese weather satellite around eight kilometres (five miles) away.
The crew on board, three NASA astronauts and three Russian cosmonauts, were not to take part in the manoeuvre.
© 2010 AFP