ISS forced to prepare for emergency evacuation due to debris: Nasa boss 'outraged' by Russia's anti-satellite launch
Eva Deschamps / November 16, 2021
Nasa's boss said Monday he was outraged by Russia's missile strike on one of its satellites, forcing astronauts on the International Space Station to prepare for an emergency evacuation due to debris.
It is unthinkable that Russia would endanger not only U.S. astronauts and international partners on the ISS, but also its own cosmonauts, said Bill Nelson in a statement. I am outraged by this irresponsible and destabilizing action.
On Monday, Russia irresponsibly conducted a destructive direct-ascent anti-satellite missile test against one of its own satellites, U.S. diplomatic chief Antony Blinken said in a statement.
This test has so far generated more than 1,500 pieces of traceable orbital debris, and will likely generate hundreds of thousands of smaller pieces of orbital debris, he added.
The Space Station passes through or near the cloud (of debris, ed.) every 90 minutes, said NASA in a statement.
During the second and third passes -- between about 2:00 a.m. U.S. East Coast time and 4:00 a.m. -- the seven people currently aboard the ISS took refuge in their ships, docked to the station, to prepare for a possible emergency evacuation.
These are four American astronauts, one German and two Russian cosmonauts. This measure was taken specifically during these passages on the basis of a risk assessment by NASA.
This incident revives fears that space is turning into a battlefield between the great powers.