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NASA Astronauts Lose Tool Bag During Spacewalk

During a recent spacewalk on November 1, NASA astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara encountered an unexpected incident when their tool bag was lost in space. The spacewalk, intended to carry out maintenance on the International Space Station’s (ISS) solar arrays, ran out of time to complete all tasks, leading to the postponement of some activities to a future spacewalk. The tool bag, which was not crucial for the remaining tasks, is now floating in space and is expected to continue doing so until it disintegrates in Earth’s atmosphere over the coming months.

NASA reported that the tool bag’s trajectory was analyzed, and the risk of it recontacting the ISS was deemed low. The agency assured that the crew and the space station are safe, requiring no further action. The tool bag’s movement can potentially be observed from Earth with binoculars before its eventual disintegration.

This incident is not the first of its kind, as previous spacewalks have seen astronauts lose tools or equipment in space. Space debris, including discarded tools or non-functional objects, is a concern in Earth’s orbit. As of September 2023, the European Space Agency estimated that over 35,000 objects were being tracked in orbit, with a total mass exceeding 11,000 metric tons.

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