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Lost Tool Kit Spotted In Space: NASA Astronauts’ Mishap On ISS

NASA astronauts lose tool kit during spacewalk, photographed by JAXA astronaut

A jaw-dropping picture shows a tool kit lost in space.

NASA astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara were left red-faced on a recent spacewalk when flight controllers spotted the equipment spinning off into space.

The lost property has now been photographed by JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) spaceman Satoshi Furukawa.

His picture was taken from the International Space Station (ISS) 255 miles above Earth.

The tool bag is expected to orbit Earth for several months, during which it will descend until 70 miles when it will begin to disintegrate in Earth’s atmosphere.

Astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara’s spacewalk on 1 November saw them spend 6 hours and 42 minutes outside the space station carrying out tasks that included fixing a solar power array.

Astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara lost the tool bag while fixing a solar power array on the ISS. PHOTO BY NASA/SWNS 

However, while preparing to work on a communications electronics box, flight controllers spotted the tool bag float away.

An assessment was quickly made by NASA to work out whether the kit would smash into the space station. It was deemed low risk so it was left to drift off.

NASA has not revealed who may have been in charge of the tool bag.

The astronauts had planned to remove and stow a communications electronics box called the Radio Frequency Group, but there was not enough time during the spacewalk to complete the work.

The duo lifted some multilayer insulation to make a better assessment of how to approach the job before replacing the insulation and deferring the task to a future spacewalk.

NASA spokesperson Mark Garcia explains: “During the activity, one tool bag was inadvertently lost. Flight controllers spotted the tool bag using external station cameras.

“The tools were not needed for the remainder of the spacewalk. Mission Control analyzed the bag’s trajectory and determined that risk of recontacting the station is low and that the onboard crew and space station are safe with no action required.”

Astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara lost the tool bag while fixing a solar power array on the ISS. PHOTO BY NASA/SWNS 

Moghbeli and O’Hara were able to complete one of the spacewalk’s two major objectives, replacing one of the 12 trundle bearing assemblies on the port solar alpha rotary joint, which allows the arrays to track the Sun and generate electricity to power the station.

Mission Control told the station crew that the solar array is functioning well after the bearing replacement.

The spacewalkers also removed a handling bar fixture to prepare for future installation of a roll-out solar array and properly configured a cable that was previously interfering with an external camera.

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

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