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International Space Station Safety

Is the ISS under threat from space junk? Of course.

Many of you will have recently read about the Russian anti-satellite weapon test that caused a cloud of debris containing anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 separate pieces of debris to potentially endanger the International Space Station (ISS). The threat from micrometeorites is bad enough, small chunks of rock and ice that could puncture the habitation modules, damage or destroy solar panels, or threaten astronauts working outside. To artificially create even more threats, especially when two of your own cosmonauts are in the firing line, seems completely crazy.

In the future, will Earth have artificial rings made up of spacecraft debris?

"Don't worry, comrade, the danger has now passed and you are not in peril anymore," seems to be the reaction from the Russians themselves, at least if their official statements are anything to go on today. Should we expect anything else from a nation that has traditionally played fast and loose with the lives of its citizens? Probably not. Will it happen again? Probably. Let's hope the ISS - or any other manned installation - isn't in the firing line.

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