The risk of a space debris impact has prompted Mission Control to propose an orbital change manoeuvre.
Currently manned by six astronauts, the International Space Station will fire its booster rockets and carry out the operation on Thursday. It is believed that there are over 21,000 fragments of space debris larger than 10cm in orbit, if any one of those hit the station it could cause serious damage. A change in orbit is usually carried out if the risk of an impact exceeds 1 in 10,000.
As more and more missions in to space are carried out the problem of space debris is becoming increasingly prevalent. Mechanisms to prevent new debris or to clear up what's already there have been the subject of both research and development efforts for several years.
"Mission Control Center spokeswoman Nadyezhda Zavyalova said the Russian Zvevda module will fire booster rockets to carry out the operation Thursday at 07:22am."
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