Debris forces space station to move

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The International Space Station will be forced to undertake an unplanned evasive manoeuvre on Saturday to avoid colliding with space debris.

"The engines of the spaceship Progress MS-18 will be turned on at 4.30pm Moscow time", the Russian space agency Roscosmos said. The cargo vessel is docked at the station.

This will cause the ISS to accelerate at a rate of 1 metre per second and move it 1.8km further up.

After the correction the ISS will be flying at a height of 414km above the Earth, according to Roscosmos. The maximum height of the space station is just above 438km.

Debris is a growing problem for space travel. The ISS regularly needs to dodge objects flying as a collision could destroy it.

In November the ISS crew had to seek shelter in two space ships that were docked at the station after the Russian military destroyed a disused satellite. Fragments had threatened to collide with the ISS, but in the end no harm was done.

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