A Chunk of Debris Nearly Hit SpaceX CrewDragon as It Carried Astronauts to the ISS [Update: False Alarm]

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Gizmodo 26 April, 2021 - 10:30am 9 views

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False alarm: No space junk threat after all to astronauts aboard SpaceX Crew Dragon

WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando 26 April, 2021 - 11:43am

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – SpaceX’s four astronauts had barely settled into orbit on a Crew Dragon capsule last Friday when they were ordered back into their spacesuits because of a potential collision with orbiting junk.

It turns out there was no object and no threat, the U.S. Space Command acknowledged Monday. The false alarm is under review.

Lt. Col. Erin Dick, a spokeswoman for Space Command, said it was believed at the time that an object was going to come close to the newly launched SpaceX capsule carrying a crew to the International Space Station.

“However, we quickly realized this was a reporting error,” she wrote in an email, “and that there was never a collision threat because there was no object at risk of colliding with the capsule.”

She declined to comment further, saying additional information should be available later this week once they understand what happened.

Astronauts typically get a fair amount of advance notice of potential close calls, with enough time to even dodge out of the way, if necessary. Friday’s situation, however, popped up quickly — just several hours after liftoff.

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