Shortly after entering orbit on April 23rd, astronauts aboard the SpaceX Dragon were told to prepare for a potential collision with an unidentified object. Without time to make evasive maneuvers, the astronauts scrambled into their pressurized suits, and viewers on Earth watched in shock of what might come. Ooops! Turns out the whole fiasco was just a false alarm.
According to U.S. Space Command, Crew-2 astronauts aboard the SpaceX Dragon were not endangered by rogue space junk, debris, a rock, aliens, or any other flying objects. Some reports suggest that an object flew within 25 miles of the capsule, but this measurement has not been confirmed by NASA. It’s still unclear what the object was, how close it came to the capsule, and if it even existed in the first place.
Several news outlets are sharing a video, shown above, where a large round object flies near the capsule. This video was actually shot before the near-collision-false-alarm incident and shows a piece of SpaceX rocket debris tumbling through the void. It was not a threat to the crew.
Space Command is investigating the false alarm to try and figure out what went wrong. Crashing into foreign objects is a serious threat in space, and even a small piece of debris or space rock could tear through a capsule upon impact. Thankfully, the Crew-2 Astronauts are safe and arrived at the ISS shortly after this incident occurred. They will remain there for about 6 months before returning to Earth.
Source: NASA via ABC News