Small piece of space debris hits the International Space Station, leaving a hole in the robotic arm

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“ Lucky strike! Tiny piece of space debris hits International Space Station, leaves hole in robotic arm

  • A robotic arm attached to the International Space Station was hit by space debris and visibly damaged
  • Canadarm2’s “ small boom boom section and thermal blanket ” was hit
  • The Canadian Space Agency noticed the damage ‘during a routine inspection’ on May 12
  • Despite the damage, the robotic arm ‘continues to conduct its planned operations’
  • Over 27,000 pieces of space junk are tracked, but many more aren’t because they’re too small

A robotic arm attached to the exterior of the International Space Station was hit by space debris and visibly damaged, according to the Canadian Space Agency.

In one blog post, the CSA notes that “a small section of the boom boom and thermal blanket” of Canadarm2 was hit.

The space agency first noticed the incident “ during a routine inspection ” on May 12.

“Despite the impact, the results of the ongoing analysis indicate that the performance of the arm remains unchanged,” CSA wrote in the post, adding that the robotic arm “continues to perform its intended operations.”

A robotic arm attached to the exterior of the International Space Station was hit by space debris and visibly damaged, according to the Canadian Space Agency.

According to the US space agency, more than 27,000 space debris are being tracked.  However, there are many that are

According to the US space agency, more than 27,000 space debris are being tracked. However, there are many that are “too small to track, but large enough to threaten human spaceflight and robotic missions.”

The amount of space garbage has increased since the dawn of the space age and every now and then it has caused damage.

NASA explained that “ a number ” of the Space Shuttle’s windows were replaced due to damage from materials that were later found to be paint stains.

According to the US space agency, more than 27,000 space debris are being tracked.

However, there are many that are “too small to track, but large enough to threaten human spaceflight and robotic missions.”

“ Since debris and spacecraft travel at extremely high speeds (around 15,700 mph in low Earth orbit), an impact of even a small piece of orbital debris with a spacecraft could create big problems, ” The NASA wrote in the post.

Of the 27,000, 23,000 are larger than a softball and travel at speeds of up to 17,500 mph.

About 500,000 more are larger than a marble (0.4 inches) and about 100 million pieces are 0.04 inches (or one millimeter) and larger.

Even more are smaller than a micrometer, at just 0.000039 inch in diameter.

In a recent report, the European Space Agency noted that most of these fragments are leftover fuel or exploding batteries. There has been an average of 12.5 “unintentional fragmentation” each year over the past two decades.

Earlier this year, an expert warned that all the debris left by humans in low Earth orbit has become the equivalent of a “ new drifting plastic island ” in space.

WHAT IS SPACE JUNK? OVER 170 MILLION PIECES OF DEAD SATELLITES, WORN ROCKETS AND PAINT FLAKES ARE A ‘THREAT’ TO THE SPACE INDUSTRY

There are around 170 million pieces of so-called “ space debris ” – left behind after missions that can be as large as exhausted rocket stages or as small as paint flakes – in orbit alongside some 700 billion US dollars (£ 555 billion) of space infrastructure. .

But only 22,000 are tracked, and with the fragments capable of traveling at speeds in excess of 27,000 km / h, even tiny pieces could seriously damage or destroy the satellites.

However, traditional gripping methods do not work in space, as suction cups do not work in a vacuum and the temperatures are too cold for substances like tape and glue.

Clamps based around magnets are unnecessary because most debris orbiting the Earth is not magnetic.

About 500,000 pieces of man-made debris (artist’s impression) currently orbit our planet, consisting of disused satellites, fragments of spacecraft and worn out rockets.

Most of the solutions offered, including debris harpoons, require or cause a powerful interaction with the debris, which could push these objects in unpredictable and unpredictable directions.

Scientists point to two events that have seriously exacerbated the problem of space debris.

The first took place in February 2009, when an Iridium telecommunications satellite and Kosmos-2251, a Russian military satellite, accidentally collided.

The second took place in January 2007, when China tested an anti-satellite weapon on a former Fengyun weather satellite.

Experts also highlighted two sites that have become worrying.

One is low Earth orbit which is used by satellite navigation satellites, the ISS, China’s manned missions, and the Hubble Telescope, among others.

The other is in geostationary orbit and is used by communications, meteorological and surveillance satellites which must maintain a fixed position relative to the Earth.

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