MOSCOW -The Russian space program’s Mission Control Center says itÂ will move the International Space Station into a different orbit to avoidÂ possible collision with a fragment of debris.
Mission Control Center spokeswoman Nadyezhda Zavyalova saidÂ the Russian Zvevda module will fire booster rockets to carry out the operationÂ Thursday at 07:22 a.m. Moscow time (0322 GMT).
The space station performsÂ evasive maneuvers when the likelihood of a collision exceeds one in 10,000.
NASA estimates that more than 21,000Â fragments of orbital debris larger than 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) are stuck inÂ earth’s orbit, and expertsÂ worry that orbiting junk is becoming a growing problem for the spaceÂ industry.
There are six astronautsÂ — three Russians, two Americans and one from Japan — onboard the orbitingÂ laboratory.