Nerve-wracking footage has captured a sizable piece of “space debris” narrowly missing a SpaceX capsule just hours before crew were warned about a possible crash with a “UFO”.
The dramatic video shows the Crew Dragon capsule launching from the Falcon 9 rocket’s second stage.
But just as it does, debris from the front capsule breaks off and propels back to the craft.
It hurtles past the camera and appears to be just inches away from colliding with the spacecraft.
Around six and a half hours later, the crew were alerted to a second “unknown object” heading straight for them.
Ground control were instructed to brace for a possible collision with no time to perform an avoidance manoeuvre.
"The NASA/SpaceX team was informed of the possible conjunction by US Space Command," Nasa spokesman Kelly Humphries said.
"The object being tracked is classified as ‘unknown'.
“The possibility of the conjunction came so close to the closest approach time that there wasn’t time to compute and execute a debris avoidance manoeuvre with confidence, so the SpaceX team elected to have the crew don their pressure suits out of an abundance of caution."
However, the danger to the crew has since been downplayed with US Space Command spokesman Erin Dick saying the UFO was actually 45 kilometers away at its closest approach.
“After further analysis, the 18th Space Control Squadron quickly determined there was no conjunction threat, all aboard are safe and the spacecraft was not at risk,” he said.
Crew Dragon Endeavour made it safely to the International Space Station on Saturday (April 24).
Conspiracy theorists often claim to have spotted unidentified flying objects hurtling above our planet thanks to NASA’s live stream of the ISS.
A huge “400ft triangular UFO” was supposedly captured soaring behind a SpaceX craft earlier this month.
And, last week, a UFO enthusiast claimed to have spotted a mystery object “colliding” with the ISS.
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