Russian Debris Cloud Almost Hits Astronauts
Russian Debris Cloud Almost Hits Astronauts

WASHINGTON — Two weeks ago, a Russian missile struck an old satellite, creating thousands of pieces of space debris that will whizz around Earth at hypersonic speed for centuries to come.

This cloud of micro bullets is now threatening the International Space Station.

Here are the details: The Guardian reports that NASA has called off a spacewalk on Tuesday, November 30 because of a cloud of space debris that was created when Russia blew up an old satellite as part of a missile test.

Any piece of that cloud of space debris can puncture an astronaut’s suit or damage the International Space Station.

The space station and its crew of seven have been at increased risk from fast-moving pieces of debris since Russia blew up the satellite two weeks ago.

Two U.S. astronauts were scheduled to replace a damaged antenna on the outside of the space station, but late on Monday night, NASA says it learned that a piece of orbiting debris might come dangerously close.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk also announced on Tuesday that the company “had to shift some Starlink satellite orbits to reduce the probability of collision.” He added that the space station and SpaceX Dragon capsules “have micrometeorite shields (for ultra high velocity impact absorption), but spacesuits do not, hence there is a higher risk for spacewalks.” The Russian missile strike generated thousands of pieces of “space junk” that are now hurtling around the Earth at around 27,400 kilometers per hour — much faster than the speed of a bullet.