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Space junk hit the International Space Station, damaging a robotic arm


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Space junk hit the International Space Station, damaging a robotic arm

A robotic arm located outside of the International Space Station has been hit by orbital debris, but it's still functioning.

The impact to Canadarm2, first noticed by NASA and the Canadian Space Agency during a routine inspection on May 12, punched a hole in the arm boom and its thermal blanket.

"Despite the impact, results of the ongoing analysis indicate that the arm's performance remains unaffected," according to a release by the Canadian Space Agency.

While the exact object responsible for this damage is unknown, the space station is at risk of impact from objects too small to be tracked as it orbits the Earth from 220 nautical miles away. These tiny objects could be pieces of rock, micrometeorites, dust particles or even flecks of paint that chip off of satellites.

About 23,000 objects about the size of a softball or larger are constantly tracked by space agencies to ensure that they don't collide with satellites or the space station.

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Maybe they can turn the Space Station into a recycling center to clean up the mess they all created.

 

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