Officials from the United States said that a Russian anti-satellite missile test that was conducted on Monday, created a debris field in low-Earth orbit that threatened the International Space Station and would pose a risk for the space activities for several years.
The seven-member space station crew – four American astronauts, one German astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts – were told to seek refuge in their docked spaceship capsules for two hours following the test as a precaution, to allow for a speedy escape if necessary, NASA reported.
Every 90 minutes, the research lab continued to travel through or near the debris cluster, but NASA specialists judged it was safe for the crew to return to the interior space of the station, following the third pass.
According to NASA, the crew was also given the order to temporarily close hatches on numerous modules of the International Space Station (ISS).
Experts commented that testing weapons that destruct satellites that are situated in orbit posed a space hazard since the shards can crash with other objects, causing a chain reaction of projectiles to travel around the orbit of the Earth.