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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 http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Readers' Review: "The Good Lord Bird" By James McBride

For our next Readers' Review: National Book Award winner "The Good Lord Bird" by James McBride. The 2013 novel follows an enslaved boy who gets caught up in John Brown's abolitionist mission...and must disguise himself as a girl to survive.

WAMU 88.5

Busboys And Poets In Anacostia: Development Or Gentrification?

Local restaurant chain Busboys and Poets will soon open in Anacostia, which suffers from a dearth of dining and shopping options-- but some within the community are decrying the opening as gentrification.

WAMU 88.5

A Primary Challenge For A Top Arlington County Democrat

Could bipartisanship be the ouster of Arlington County's board chair?

NPR

In Omaha, A Library With No Books Brings Technology To All

The privately funded, $7 million Do Space provides free access to computers, high-end software, 3-D printers, and laser cutters. It's a learning and play space, as well as an office for entrepreneurs.

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