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Space Station Fires Up Thrusters To Avoid Space Junk

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Cuba appears at the top of this high oblique image, photographed by one of the Expedition 38 crew members aboard the International Space Station. (Source: NASA.gov)

Cuba appears at the top of this high oblique image, photographed by one of the Expedition 38 crew members aboard the International Space Station. (Source: NASA.gov)

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CAPE CANAVERAL (CBSmiami/AP) — The crew of the International Space Station fired up the orbiting platform’s on-board thrusters to dodge part of an old satellite.

Experts aren’t sure how big the junk is. It’s from a Russian weather satellite launched in 1979.

After the maneuver Sunday, which pushed the station about half a mile, it was determined the debris would have posed no threat. NASA says it preferred playing it safe.

Mission Control says the change in space station altitude will not affect next week’s launch of a new three-man crew from Kazakhstan.

A SpaceX resupply mission from Cape Canaveral, meanwhile, has been delayed until the end of the month. The unmanned Falcon rocket was supposed to blast off Sunday.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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