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Original Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2003 10:38:43 +0200 (CEST)
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May 30, 2003, 2:47PM
Space station maneuvers to avoid close call
By MARK CARREAU
Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle
The international space station was successfully maneuvered at mid-day
to avoid a close encounter with a small Italian telecommunications
The propulsive maneuver at 11:50 a.m., CDT, raised the altitude of the
240 mile high orbital base by nearly one mile.
Without the maneuver, the 77 pound MegSat 0 would have crossed well
within the boundaries of an imaginary clearance zone maintained around
the 170-foot long orbital base just before (Friday ) 4 p.m., CST, said
NASA spokesman Rob Navias. The zone measures about 16 miles ahead and
behind and to the left and right of the station as well as a mile
above and below.
Space station tenants Ed Lu of NASA and Yuri Malenchenko of the
Russian space agency began a six-month stay in late April.
Launched April 28, 1999, MegSat 0 is an experimental satellite
operated by the MegSat Space Division of the Meggiorin Group.
Today's avoidance maneuver was the sixth time the space station has
moved to avoid a potential collision with an orbiting satellite or
piece of manmade orbital debris since construction of the outpost
began in late 1998.
The propulsion for the move was furnished by a Russian Progress cargo
capsule docked to the station's aft end.
The small change in altitude will have no impact on plans by the
Russians to launch another Progress capsule to the station early next
month. The launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan is
planned for early June 8. The capsule and its cargo of food,
water,fuel and other supplies should reach the station three days
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