Decomposing Russian Satellite Poses Threat to International Space Station

Fragments of a Russian satellite have posed a risk to the International Space Station (ISS). NASA asked the astronauts on board to take shelter.

Fragments of a Russian satellite have endangered the International Space Station (ISS). The space tracking company LeoLabs detected a cloud of debris after the disintegration of a Russian satellite. The United States Space Command said on (ex Twitter) on June 26, 2024 that more than 100 pieces ended up in space, with a risk of collision with the ISS.


The satellite was in orbit at an altitude of 355 km above Earth, while the International Space Station was about 400 km away. As a result, astronauts aboard the ISS were asked to take shelter as a precaution, NASA wrote on X.

Mission Control continued to monitor the trajectory of the debris, and after about an hour, the crew was cleared to leave their spacecraft and the station resumed normal operations », added the space agency.

ISS. // Source: NASA (cropped image)
The ISS is still in orbit around the Earth. // Source: NASA (cropped image)

Russia destroys satellites for testing

Moscow is often accused of irresponsible behavior in space. In 2021, Russia deliberately destroyed a decommissioned Soviet satellite in low Earth orbit during an anti-satellite test, producing thousands of fragments of debris. NASA had sentenced this act, calling it ” reckless and dangerous “.

On X, astronomer Jonathan McDowell of Harvard University suggested that the satellite's disintegration could be due to a small impact or the explosion of an onboard battery. He also did not rule out that it could be an anti-satellite missile test.


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