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U.S. astronaut Mark Vande Hei, who attended high school and college in Minnesota, was among seven astronauts who had to shelter in the International Space Station when their safety was threatened due to Russia blowing up a satellite on Monday. 

“Earlier today, due to the debris generated by the destructive Russian Anti-Satellite (ASAT) test, ISS astronauts and cosmonauts undertook emergency procedures for safety," NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said Monday in a statement

Vande Hei along with three other U.S. astronauts, a German astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts were ordered to take shelter as the ISS passed through the debris field caused by the exploded Soviet-era satellite, which was destroyed by a missile launched from Earth in what the Washington Post describes as a first.

“NASA will continue monitoring the debris in the coming days and beyond to ensure the safety of our crew in orbit," Nelson said, noting that the ISS is passing through or near the debris cloud every 90 minutes. 

According to NASA, the crew was awakened and ordered to close hatches to radial modules on the spacecraft and then shelter during the second and third passes through the debris. 

Vande Hei attended Benilde-St. Margaret's High School in St. Louis Park in 1985 and later earned his Bachelor of Science in Physics at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota. His parents, Thomas and Mary Vande Hei currently live in Chanhassen. 

Vande Hei is serving as a flight engineer aboard the ISS. 

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Russian space agency Roscosmos tweeted that the ISS crew is no longer in danger. 

“The orbit of the object, which forced the crew today to move into spacecraft according to standard procedures, has moved away from the ISS orbit,” Roscosmos tweeted. “The station is in the green zone.”

However, according to the U.S. Space Command, the anti-satellite test generated more than 1,500 pieces of trackable orbital debris that will likely create hundreds of thousands of pieces of smaller debris that will continue to orbit the Earth and "continue to pose a threat to activities in outer space for years to come, putting satellites and space missions as risk, as well as forcing more collision avoidance maneuvers." 

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