WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
In a recorded video, SpaceX rocket narrowly escaped two potential collisions with a ‘space debris’ as it made its way towards the Space Station.
Just around 12 minutes after taking off, a ‘space debris’ could be seen going past the rocket and after six hours, another ‘unknown’ object was approaching towards it, as the four astronauts aboard were advised to ‘buckle up’ for possible impact.
The first near-missed encounter happened after the launching of Falcon 9 rocket’s second stage where a debris was detached from the front capsule and was propelled back to the rocket.
The object flew to the right before returning back, missing the craft by just seconds.
Then at about 1.43pm ET, more than six hours later, the group got another warning of potential impact from an “unknown object” approaching their way.
The advisory came around 20 minutes before the potential crash. The crew was forced to brace for impact, having no luxury to make a craft manoeuvre to avoid the collision. According to a report from Futurism, the astronauts onboard on the recycled Crew Dragon capsule called the ‘Endeavor’ were advised to wear their pressurized suits.
“The NASA/SpaceX team was informed of the possible conjunction by US Space Command,” per NASA’s Kelly Humphries. “The object being tracked is classified as ‘unknown.’”
“The possibility of the conjunction came so close to the closest approach time that there wasn’t time to compute and execute a debris avoidance manoeuvre with confidence, so the SpaceX team elected to have the crew don their pressure suits out of an abundance of caution,” Humphries added.
Speaking with Futurism, US Space Command spokesman Erin Dick said that the Pentagon notified NASA on the potential contact seven hours after the spacecraft took flight.
“After further analysis, the 18th Space Control Squadron quickly determined there was no conjunction threat, all aboard are safe and the spacecraft was not at risk,” Dick said.
Per Humphries, the distance of the object to the craft was around 45 kilometers, and that “there was no real danger to the crew or the spacecraft.”
The crew of four astronauts had taken off at 5.49am ET from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Friday. They arrived at the International Space Station the following day.
The ‘Endeavour’ space capsule was attached to the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, as both spacecraft were used in past flights to outer space.
Source: The Sun