The Russian satellite disintegrates, and astronauts on the International Space Station have to take cover

The International Space Station (ISS) with the Boeing Starliner spacecraft attached to it.

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The International Space Station crew had to take shelter in the spacecraft for a short period overnight Wednesday into Thursday due to debris from a Russian satellite. NASA reported that about a hundred pieces of debris moved into orbit near the space station.

The astronauts were able to leave their spacecraft again after an hour. The US Defense Space Command said that space debris does not pose a threat to other satellites.

According to the Space Command, the debris came from RESURS-P1. The Russian surveillance satellite has been out of service since 2022. Russia’s space agency Roscosmos has yet to confirm that the debris comes from the satellite in question.

It is not known what caused the surveillance satellite to crash. There is no indication that it was shot down. Russia shot down another old satellite as a test in 2021 using a so-called anti-satellite weapon. It did so from the Plesetsk launch site, about 800 kilometers north of Moscow. Thousands of pieces of debris then went into orbit around the Earth.

Experts told Reuters that the RESURS-P1 collapse could also have been the result of technical problems, such as an explosion of remaining fuel.

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