Space Bag That Floated Away Has Been Spotted!

Nov 24, 2008 5:03pm

ABC’s Gina Sunseri reports:

The $100,000 tool kit lost in space last week has turned up orbiting over the northeast. It was spotted today in Ontario and if you had a good telescope you could have seen it from New York.

Astronaut Heidi Stefanyshyn Piper lost the bag during her first spacewalk – she was struggling with an exploding grease gun and the mess if left when her bag, which she thought was hooked to a tether, just slipped away. "Oh, great, she muttered, clearly frustrated with the turn of events.

She later said, "It was definitely not the high point of the EVA (spacewalk) to open up the bag and realize there was grease everywhere, it was exploded if that was the right word to use, it was a continuous ooze and that was very disheartening.

Then she saw her tool bag float away, and made a grab for it, but it was moving too fast. "There was split second, when I started for it, I thought, can I reach and get it and I thought , no that would just make things worse"

The bag was gone, but not forgotten. Space observers from around the world have been looking for it. Veteran space watcher Kevin Fetter in Ontario spotted it today, orbiting over his back yard.

It’s just another piece of space junk now. The numbers are staggering: 13,000 pieces of junk larger than ten meters are orbiting in space. There are at least another 100,000 pieces of orbital debris that measure between one and ten centimeters, and the number of pieces smaller than 1 centimeter orbiting around the Earth is in the millions. It’s a mess up there.

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