NASA's SpaceX Crew Dragon docks at ISS
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The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule carrying four crew members successfully docked at the International Space Station on Saturday. But footage shows the astronauts being alerted to a possible collision with a mysterious object.
The alert offered a moment of suspense after SpaceX’s spectacular launch of the capsule on Friday.
The conjunction occurred at 1.43 pm EDT (5.43pm GMT) on Friday as the crew members were preparing to sleep after a long day.
According to Space.com, SpaceX’s Sarah Gilles told the astronauts about 20 minutes before the encounter: “For awareness, we have identified a late breaking possible conjunction with a fairly close miss distance to Dragon.
“As such, we do need you to immediately proceed with suit donning and securing yourselves in seats.”
Ms Gilles told the crew to get into their spacesuits and seats for safety in case the object hit the capsule.
However, it appeared the debris was further away than expected.
By 1.44 pm EDT, the astronauts received the all clear that the object had passed the capsule without impact.
Ms Gilles said: “Dragon, SpaceX, we have passed TCA with no impact.”
According to the Independent, US Space Command (18 SPCS) said the Pentagon had notified NASA of the potential collision seven hours after the capsule was launched.
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Erin Dick, Space Command spokesperson, said: “After further analysis, the 18th Space Control Squadron quickly determined there was no conjunction threat, all aboard are safe and the spacecraft was not at risk.”
She told the publication: “Upon further analysis, 18 SPCS quickly determined the potential conjunction between the Crew-2 capsule and the object was an inaccurate report.
“There was never a collision threat to the Crew-Dragon.”
According to the Independent, the space agency is now investigating the cause of the inaccurate report.
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