Space Station passes by debris unharmed
The 18 occupants of the International Space Station hastily packed their bags in preparation for a quick escape as a result of a space debris collision warning. The Station has since safely passed by the debris unscathed and has returned to normal operations.
It was determined that a portion of a spent satellite motor (space debris) could have potentially passed within the stations "debris avoidance maneuver requirement zone". As a result, the 18 crew members put the station into an "unmanned configuration" and boarded the Soyuz TMA-13, the crews' escape vehicle.
Crew members are entering their Soyuz TMA-13 capsule and soft-locking the hatches, in case the debris should affect the space station and they are required to undock. The closure of the hatches ensures the safety of the crew and the ability to quickly depart the station in the unlikely event the debris collided with the station causing a depressurization.
As of 12:45pm EDT the crew returned to the station and resumed normal operations.
The debris threat to the International Space Station has passed. The crew was notified of the all clear at 12:45 p.m. EDT. The crew will depart the Soyuz and return the station to normal operations.
Though the likelihood of a collision was extremely low, the crew remained prepared for a quick departure in the Soyuz from 12:35-12:45pm EDT.
The crew will be in the Soyuz from 12:35-12:45 p.m. EDT. They will remain in the Soyuz until the debris risk has passed. Moving the crew into the Soyuz is a precaution, as the probability of impact is low. The crew is currently putting space station into an unmanned configuration, including several interior station hatches.