Space Station Crew Takes Shelter from Space Junk

Posted June 28th, 2011 at 10:20 am (UTC-5)
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An unidentified piece of space debris came close to the International Space Station Tuesday, forcing the six crew members to seek shelter in their rescue craft.

News reports said the space junk passed within about 245 meters of the space station.

There are currently three Russians, two Americans and one Japanese astronaut at the space station.

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is getting ready to send more astronauts to the station next month aboard the space shuttle Atlantis.

NASA officials are meeting Tuesday to formally set the date for the final flight in the 30-year U.S. shuttle program.

The agency says the 12-day mission is targeted for launch on July 8. Atlantis will carry a crew of four to the International Space Station, along with a multi-purpose module filled with supplies and spare parts to sustain station operations once the U.S. shuttles are retired.