"I confirm that at 22.03 Moscow time, the engines of the Russian Progress MS-20 transport cargo ship carried out an unscheduled maneuver to avoid a dangerous approach of the International Space Station with a fragment of the Kosmos-1408 spacecraft," Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin wrote on Telegram(opens in new tab), according to a Google translation, using Roscosmos' designation for Progress 81.
The Progress 81 cargo ship fired its thrusters for 4 minutes and 34 seconds to move the massive space station away from the trajectory of the fragment of Cosmos-1408 and raise the station's orbit slightly.
"The crew was never in any danger and the maneuver had no impact on station operations," NASA officials wrote in an update(opens in new tab). "Without the maneuver, it was predicted that the fragment could have passed within around a half mile from the station."
Cosmos 1408 was a Soviet Electronic and Signals Intelligence focused Tselina-D satellite launched in 1982 from Russia's Plesetsk Cosmodrome, according to a NASA report(opens in new tab).