Science & Technology Tech

Thanks to the Virtual Telescope Project

Space. Tool bag lost during spacewalk found

In orbit around the Earth in front of the International Space Station, the bag was spotted by a telescope installed in Manciano in the province of Grosseto. She had escaped the astronauts during a maintenance operation


Images: NASA/Virtual Telescope Project

On Nov. 2, a tool bag worth $100,000 was lost during a nearly 7-hour spacewalk outside the International Space Station.

The white bag, which accidentally escaped astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O'Hara during maintenance work on one of the solar panels, now precedes the ISS by about 10 minutes in orbit around Earth.

The object was spotted by the Virtual Telescope Project thanks to one of the robotic telescopes installed at the Manciano station, in the province of Grosseto.

"Thanks to the extraordinary technologies and refined mechanics used, the instrument aimed and tracked this debris perfectly," astrophysicist Gianluca Masi, scientific director of the Virtual Telescope, commented to ANSA, "despite the fact that it moved in the sky by about one degree every three seconds, moreover of continuously variable motion."

The bag appears as a bright dot in the center of the resulting image, with the trails left by the stars in the background, due to the movement of the telescope chasing the debris.

This is not the first time that astronauts aboard the Space Station have lost items, but even a simple bag of tools can pose a danger due to possible impacts with the Space Station itself.

A risk immediately ruled out by NASA, which recounted the episode in a post dedicated to extravehicular activity on its blog.

Now space debris, the stock exchange is currently at an altitude of about 400 kilometers and in the coming months it will gradually lower until it disintegrates as it re-enters the atmosphere.