MOSCOW (AP) — Russian Mission Control says the International Space Station's crew has briefly taken seats in escape capsules due to a close encounter with space debris.
Mission Control spokesman Valery Lyndin said the six crewmen spent about half an hour Tuesday in two Soyuz escape capsules docked at the station before the space junk passed by without jeopardizing the station.
The station periodically faces close encounters with debris, and engineers normally adjust the station's orbit to reduce the probability of impact. If monitors fail to spot the space junk in time to performe the maneuver, the crew is ordered to board the capsules.
The station is manned by Americans Michael Fossum and Ronald Garan Jr., Russians Sergey Volkov, Andrei Borisenko and Alexander Samokutayev and Japanese Satoshi Furukawa.