The SpaceX Dragon had a moment of suspense Friday when a piece of space junk swooshed past the vessel carrying four astronauts.
The crew members were in the process of getting ready for bed when the spacecraft appeared to almost collide with a piece of debris after launch.
“For awareness, we have identified a late breaking possible conjunction with a fairly close miss distance to Dragon,” SpaceX’s Sarah Gilles told the astronauts before it passed.
The astronauts were seen being informed by Giles via a live feed released on YouTube by Raw Science.
However, despite looking close enough to touch, the object was apparently 45km from the craft, a far enough distance that there was “no real danger to the crew or the spacecraft”.
“Dragon, SpaceX, we have passed TCA with no impact,” Gilles added.
Both rocket and capsule launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida just before 11am Friday.
Nearly 24 hours after its departure from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida on April 23rd, the crew docked at the International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday despite the incident.
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Its four-person crew joined seven other astronauts already on board the station. They are expected to stay on the space station for a tour of six months.
Despite being monitored by controllers on the ground, the main operation was directed by computers.