Work more than 400 kilometers high and without gravity it is, without a doubt, quite a challenge. And for this reason it is not surprising that, from time to time, failures and errors of greater or lesser importance occur.
Last November 1, when the astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara of the POT They carried out maintenance work on the solar panels of the International Space Station (ISS) They lost a bag of tools.
As explained by NASA, which found the bag using the external cameras of the ISS, the lost tools were not essential for the completion of the task carried out by the astronauts at that time or the execution of other similar work in the future. . «Mission Control analyzed the trajectory of the bag and determined that the risk of contacting the station again is low and that the crew on board and the space station are safe and no action is required,” the US agency said.
However, the object continues to circle the Earth in front of the ISS at a speed of 28,000 kilometers per hour and, it seems, it could remain in orbit for a few months before losing altitude and definitively disintegrating upon contact with the atmosphere.
The bag was detected by an Italian telescope
It was not until November 15 that the missing tool bag could be located. Was the Italy Virtual Telescope Project the person responsible for the discovery when, when taking a series of photographs in which a bright spot could be seen that turned out to be the NASA astronauts’ tool bag.
How to locate the tool bag
The object known as the tool bag has a magnitude of +6, meaning it is not visible to the naked eye, but can be detected with binoculars. Additionally, this object, identified as 1998-067WC/58229, is located at a distance of six minutes from the International Space Station and orbits the Earth at an altitude of between 415 and 416 kilometers.