Space station moves away from space junk, climbs half-mile to avoid chunk of old satellite

Associated Press + More

By MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The International Space Station had to sidestep a piece of space junk.

NASA said Monday the space station had to dodge part of an old satellite. Sunday night's firing of on-board thrusters pushed the orbiting lab up a half-mile.

Experts aren't sure how big the junk is. It's from a Russian weather satellite launched in 1979.

After the maneuver, it was determined the debris would have posed no threat. NASA says it preferred playing it safe.

Mission Control says the change in space station altitude will not affect next week's launch of a new three-man crew from Kazakhstan.

A SpaceX resupply mission from Cape Canaveral, meanwhile, has been delayed until the end of the month. The unmanned Falcon rocket was supposed to blast off Sunday.

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NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

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