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Nov 12, 10:20 AM EST

Space station dodges Chinese space junk, flies higher to avoid dangerously close encounter


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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- The International Space Station is out of harm's way after flying higher to avoid space junk.

Flight controllers raised the space station's orbit by a mile Wednesday. That's because a small piece of debris from an old Chinese satellite was going to come dangerously close. Without the maneuver, the two objects would have come within seven-tenths of a mile later in the morning, too close for NASA's comfort.

The three space station astronauts were informed of the situation. NASA says they were never in danger.

A maneuver had been planned anyway for later Wednesday in preparation for the launch of three more astronauts on Nov. 23 from Kazakhstan. Now, that engine firing won't be needed.

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