MOSCOW — The International Space Station’s crew briefly took refuge in escape capsules yesterday during a close encounter with space debris, officials at the mission control in Russia said.
Spokesman Valery Lyndin said the six crewmen spent about half an hour in two Soyuz escape capsules docked at the station before the space junk passed by without jeopardizing the station.
The station periodically faces close encounters with debris, and engineers normally adjust the station’s orbit to reduce the probability of impact. If monitors fail to spot the space junk in time, the crew is ordered to board the capsules.
The station is operated by Americans Michael Fossum and Ronald Garan Jr., Russians Sergey Volkov, Andrei Borisenko, and Alexander Samokutayev, and Japanese Satoshi Furukawa.