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Space station 'struck by object'



http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3242712.stm

Space station 'struck by object'


Kaleri and Foale arrived at the station in October
The American-Russian crew of the International Space Station say their craft
may have hit an object in orbit.
American Michael Foale and Russian Alexander Kaleri reported hearing a
metallic crushing sound, apparently from an unoccupied part of the station.

Russian space officials said there appeared to be no damage to the outside
of the craft or change in air pressure inside, and that the two men were
safe.

Mr Foale and Mr Kaleri arrived on the ISS last month and leave next April.

Thanksgiving

Michael Foale, the station's commander, and Alexander Kaleri said they heard
the sound as they were completing their breakfast and cleanup period.

Although no damage has been found, mission controllers are still trying to
determine what happened.

The US Department of Defense monitors the ISS's orbit for space debris using
radar. If it forecasts that a close approach may occur the ISS can move out
of the way.

Michael Foale, who was born near Louth in Lincolnshire, is no stranger to
space station impacts. He was onboard the Mir space station in 1987 when a
Progress supply tanker crashed into it - one of the most dangerous incidents
to have ever taken place in space.

The latest incident appears to be minor. Foale and Kaleri are carrying on
with their planned duties which include a light work schedule and a
Thanksgiving holiday meal.



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