The shuttle taking the astronauts of the Crew Dragon crew to the International Space Station would have almost collided with space debris, endangering the lives of its passengers. An alert was indeed sent to them, an alert explaining in substance that their capsule was very likely to collide with space debris . This was, however, a false positive. Explanations.
As you know, near-Earth space is littered with the remnants of rockets, satellites, and other pieces of space craft of varying sizes. The amount of this space waste is such that it can easily endanger devices in orbit.
SpaceX shuttle passengers were therefore warned of a potential collision. A few minutes later, however, they were warned that it was a false alarm .
Security measures have nevertheless been taken. The operations center thus warned the crew so that they put on their suits in anticipation of a possible collision.
Astronauts were asked to prepare for the worst
A collision is the scenario we fear the most with all this debris in space. Apparently, this almost happened during the transit of SpaceX's shuttle to the International Space Station.
Indeed, an alert from SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne reached the astronauts, warning them of a risk of collision with space debris .
An alert taken with the utmost seriousness. The slightest element that would strike the shuttle would potentially be able to undermine the integrity of the hull, and therefore create pressurization faults or even cause damage to major mechanisms of the aircraft.
The astronauts were therefore asked to put on their pressure suits to prepare. Fortunately, nothing happened during the few hours of travel to the ISS .
An alert linked to an error
The SPCS 18 (18th Space Control Squadron) of the US Space Command has conducted an investigation precisely this alert. According to this entity, whose decisions were reported through its spokesperson Erin Dick, it is highly likely that the scenario of collision between the capsule and the drifting object should not have been advanced.
"After further analysis, 18 SPCS quickly determined that the potential conjunction between the Crew-2 capsule and the object was the result of an erroneous report." Then to add: "[…] there was never a threat of collision, because there was no object likely to strike the capsule".
Finally, the SpaceX capsule did deliver the Crew Dragon to the ISS last Saturday and an investigation was opened into the origin of the false alarm . For the moment, the 18 SPCS is not yet fixed on the source of the error in the system.
In any case, one could rightly say that it is better to be too prepared than not enough.