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International Space Station Dodges Orbital Junk (Again!)

WASHINGTON — The International Space Station had to dodge space junk again — for the second time in less than three weeks.

NASA said the station fired its thrusters Thursday afternoon, moving up about half a mile, to avoid some parts from an old Ariane 5 rocket. The European Space Agency launches Ariane rockets out of South America.

The junk would have come within 1,040 feet of the outpost.

NASA said the station's six-man crew was never in danger. NASA spokesman Kelly Humphries said the space agency has had to consider sidestepping space junk dozens of times since the outpost was launched in 1998, sometimes canceling the orbital dodge at the last moment.

The station moved on March 16 to avoid an old Russian weather satellite part.

— The Associated Press