A team of astronauts was asked to prepare for a collision after ground control discovered a UFO that could hit their ship.
The last joint SpaceX / NASA mission started on Friday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The mission went smoothly for the first seven hours. Thereafter, the four astronauts were warned that an “unknown” object was in their vicinity.
With no time for an emergency maneuver, the spacemen were told to put on their pressure suits in the event of a collision.
NASA spokeswoman Kelly Humphries said futurism : “The possibility of conjunction came so close to the closest approximation time that there was no time to calculate and execute a maneuver to avoid debris with confidence. The SpaceX team therefore decided that the crew would put on their pressure suits from a plethora of suits, be careful. ”
Fortunately for the spacemen, the object did not hit the vehicle.
US Space Command spokeswoman Erin Dick added, “Upon further analysis, the 18th th The Space Control Squadron quickly determined that there was no economic threat, everyone on board is safe and the spacecraft was not at risk. ”
Humphries said the object is 45 km from the ship, which is close enough to be a cause for concern in space travel.
However, it remains unclear what the object was.
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday.
Frenchman Thomas Pesquet is the first European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut to ride the Crew Dragon spacecraft, designed by the company of billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk.
Also on board are Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur from Nasa and Akihiko Hoshide from Jaxa (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) on his second mission to the ISS.
The capsule docked at around 10.19 a.m. UK time.
This was followed by the third launch of NASA’s Commercial Crew program, based on US private companies, in less than a year.
Previously, NASA relied on the Soyuz shuttle program for more than a decade.
The “recycled” Crew Dragon capsule / Falcon rocket combination sent four astronauts to the ISS last November, and the capsule carried and returned two astronauts during the first manned SpaceX flight last May.
The crew will replace Nasas Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, as well as Jaxas Soichi Noguchi, who are due to return to Earth next Wednesday in another SpaceX capsule.
For her debut mission, Ms. McArthur is flying in the same seat as her husband Bob Behnken for SpaceX’s first crew flight last May.
After a six-month stay, the Crew 2 astronauts leave the ISS in October and splash in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida.
David Parker, Director of Human and Robotic Research at ESA, said: “Thomas’s mission is part of a sequence that takes us on a journey that will one day end in boots on Mars, the red planet.
“But at the moment Mars is only a target for our robots.
“Beyond the space station, we are preparing, among other things, for the return to the moon or the moon so that we can really explore it this time.
“So Europe is building the power train for Orion – the new deep spaceship that will take people to the moon. We have three seats on board that are already planned.”
He added, “We will then learn on the moon how to eventually make that much bigger jump to the surface of Mars.”
Mr. Pesquet will command the ISS for the final month of his six month mission.
Josef Aschbacher, Director General of ESA, described the start as an “emotional moment”.
He said: “As Director General of ESA, I am very pleased that Thomas is now flying to the ISS. All of us at ESA are very excited to see this.
Mr. Aschbacher added, “SpaceX did an incredible job.”