In the year of 2020, there three near-missed collision happened between the International Space Station and space junk. Since the space station has been established there were 30 close encounters with space junk. In May, this year, a little piece of space junk has made a hole in the ISS’s robot arm. Last week, the space station was forced to move out from its way to avoid a clash with a space junk. It has to urgently change its orbit with a crew of astronauts and cosmonauts on board.
In 2007, Chinese anti-satellite missile test has destroyed Fengyun-1C weather satellite and the satellite has exploded into more than 3,500 pieces of debris. Most of these pieces are still orbiting and one of these pieces has caused the recent accident.
To avoid the collision, the ISS has changed its speed by 0.7 meters per second and has to raised its orbit
Space debris is threatening thousand satellites that are orbiting the Earth. The ISS is the biggest of them and thus the more vulnerable target. It orbits 7.66 kilometres per second. So, a small piece of debris can produce great damage in the satellite.
But satellites are not the only objects in orbit, there are defunct satellites and rocket stages in it.
But the ISS is made of multi-layer shielding to protect it from puncture and depressurisation. But scientists think that more events like this would happen in the lifetime of ISS.
The researchers are investigating about the method of removing the larger pieces of debris from the orbit. Though they do not have the power to remove each and every debris from their way. US Space Surveillance Network has already tracked nearly 30,000 pieces of debris that are larger than 10cm.