ISS conducts Debris Avoidance Maneuver

Photo: NASA
Photo: NASA

The International Space Station conducted a Debris Avoidance Maneuver on Sunday to move out of the way of a piece of space debris. Monitoring the conjunction, the coordinated team at Mission Control Houston and their counterparts in Russia decided to conduct a Pre-Determined Debris Avoidance Maneuver – a generic five-minute burn of the engines of a docked Progress spacecraft to slightly alter the Station’s orbit and thus move it out of the danger zone. PDAMs can be performed even on very short notice as they utilize a generic burn sequence for which commands are ready at all times.

With closest approach predicted at 11:41 UTC on Sunday, Progress M-28M fired its engines at 9:06 UTC. The burn achieved the targeted change in velocity of 0.3 meters per second and lasted for 299.36 seconds. The PDAM raised the apogee of the Station’s orbit by approximately 1.2 Kilometers, according to tracking data provided by the Joint Space Operations Center.

Potential impacts on the upcoming launch and six-hour rendezvous of Progress M-29M set for Thursday have not yet been evaluated but are likely minor.