Astronaut Accident Leads To Object Lost In Orbit

By Britta DeVore | Published


Imagine – you’re gazing up at the night sky with your honey, courtesy of the high-tech telescope you’ve just purchased when you see it. In disbelief, you train your eyes on the material only to discover that yes, that is a toolbag zooming around the cosmos. While it may seem far-fetched, The Guardian reports that an astronaut’s toolbag came undone during a recent mission and is now floating aimlessly around Earth and could be spotted with as little as a good set of binoculars. 

A Lost Toolbelt Is Floating In Space

The occurrence can be chalked up to a rookie mistake by NASA astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara who were taking a stroll outside the International Space Station when the incident went down. It was the debut spacewalk for both women and, as they were carrying out their mission of fixing a certain piece of machinery, gravity (or rather the lack-there-of in this case) took charge and carried the toolbelt away.

Luckily, after digging into the incident, Mission Control found that the bag wasn’t a major cause for concern, with it being incredibly unlikely that it would come back to interfere with a crew member or the station. It was also reported that, while the astronauts were using the tools in the toolbag, they weren’t necessary for what the team had in store for the remainder of their travels.

How You Can Track The Toolbelt

moon telescope

Just because the astronauts don’t need the bag’s contents and the item doesn’t pose a significant threat to the station or life on Earth, that doesn’t mean that the Space Station won’t be keeping an eye on it. In fact, they’re encouraging people around the world to visit their website and track the toolbelt themselves. According to NASA, folks down on Earth can expect to see the identified floating object just two to four minutes before The International Space Station cruises by.

The Toolbelt Will Eventually Fall Back To Earth

So, how will things end for the astronaut’s lost piece of luggage? Its lifespan in space is somewhere around four months, with scientists expecting it to drop from the sky in March 2024. Still, there’s no need to worry as the toolbag will burn to a crisp before it comes in contact with the Earth’s soil.

More Bizarre Space News

The floating tool bag is the latest piece of exciting news to come from the sky as just a few weeks ago, we reported that astronauts on a separate spacewalk encountered a blob of toxic gas which was later determined to be ammonia. While hoping to gain a better understanding of a coolant leak coming from the side of The International Space Station, the astronauts stumbled upon the blob which was thought to have stemmed from the leak. Thankfully, the team was able to take care of the problem and reboard the ISS unscathed, ready to enjoy another day floating around space.

Luckily, The Toobelt Poses No Threats

If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of the missing toolbelt, you can check out the sky on the next dark night. Thankfully, this story had a happy ending for the astronauts and a fun one for those of us stuck on Earth but dreaming of what it must be like to be looking down on the planet.