NPR : News

Filed Under:

Debris Makes Space Station Astronauts Hunker Down

A discarded chunk of a Russian rocket forced six space station astronauts to seek shelter in escape capsules early Saturday, then ultimately safely passed in front of the space station, according to NASA.

NASA spokesman Rob Navias told The Associated Press ahead of the incident that the space junk would barely be close enough to be a threat. But if it had hit the station, it could have been dangerous, so the astronauts — two Americans, three Russians and a Dutchman — woke early and climbed into two Soyuz vehicles ready to rocket back to Earth just in case.

The debris came closest at 2:38 a.m. EDT. It was not noticed until Friday, too late to move the International Space Station out of the way.

This is the third time in 12 years that astronauts have had to seek shelter from space junk.

This report contains material from The Associated Press

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


Historic Art, Luxury Apartments Battle Over Berlin's Famous Wall

A stretch of the old Berlin Wall has stood for decades as an open-air gallery, covered in fine art and graffiti. Bids for luxury developments in the area have artists hitting the streets in protest.

Mark Bittman Is Stepping Down, But He Still Has More To Say About Food

One of the most influential food writers in recent years is leaving his job at The New York Times — to join a California food startup. "This is a calling, in a way," he says.

Nancy Pelosi On The 'Awesome Power' Of The House Speakership

The House's upcoming agenda can "be one that is a successful path to the future or it can be a calendar of chaos, and that really is up to the Republicans," Pelosi said.

#MemeOfTheWeek: That Article From The Onion About Mass Shootings

The article reveals what the writers really feel about mass shootings in America, something mainstream media couldn't do.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.