NASA: Risk to space station from Russian weapon test debris still high

NASA said on Thursday that the International Space Station (ISS) remains at high risk for orbiting debris following a Russian weapon test launch, The Associated Press reported.

However, NASA said Wednesday the highest threat to the station and its seven residents was in the first 24 hours. 

Russia launched a missile aiming to destroy its own satellite orbiting above the ISS on Monday. The U.S. Space Command has tracked more than 1,500 satellite fragments from the missile launch.

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NASA also said as a precaution following the test launch, hatches between the station’s compartments were closed before being reopened on Wednesday. 

The International Space Station currently houses U.S., Russian and German astronauts, the AP reported.  

NASA added that it will review an upcoming spacewalk and other ISS operations to assess the risks before proceeding, according to the AP. 

Nov. 30 is the target date for NASA to conduct a spacewalk to repair a bad antenna, when the space agency also plans to conduct inspections for potential damage. 

Both NASA and the State Department have condemned Russia’s missile launch, saying it puts other satellites and China’s own space station at risk, the AP noted.