If you’ve watched the movie Gravity starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, you’ll get a glimpse of how devastating space debris could be and how messy things can get pretty quickly.
Although things never got to that point after the Russian military shot one of its own old satellites in orbit causing astronauts aboard the ISS into a panic frenzy this past couple of weeks.
There were reports of the incident causing about 1,700 space debris flying everywhere but NASA isn’t quick to pointing fingers as to whether the incident was the actual cause of the debris or not.
A spacewalk was required – an activity whereby astronauts literally go outside of the ISS and fix hardware components around the ISS. Something like fixing your roof or some part of your house after a big disaster.
US astronauts Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron were both supposed to complete the job on Tuesday, but NASA delayed the spacewalk because of potentially threatening space junk.
Things move pretty fast in space due to little to no gravitational boundaries and hitting a person at such speed could change the individual’s course off trajectory or kill them.
NASA only allowed the spacewalk to continue after it deemed it safe for the astronauts to go out of the ISS to get the job done.
But soon after the spacewalk ended, Mission Control notified the crew that the station would need to move into a slightly lower orbit Friday to avoid an old U.S. rocket fragment.
Even though NASA isn’t trying to point fingers, the US Vice President Kamala Harris as well as other top US government officials condemned the Russia’s action which potential led to the space debris.
More than 1,700 sizable pieces of the shattered satellite are being tracked, with tens if not hundreds of thousands too small to see.
Barron reported that about 11 small debris struck the failed antenna that was then removed during the spacewalk with some of the holes looking old.
Marshburn on the other hand holds the record of the oldest individual to conduct a spacewalk as well as the fourth of his career while Barron on the other hand is a 34-year-old astronaut who’s doing her first spacewalk.
Aboard the ISS are two other American astronauts, two Russian cosmonauts and one German astronaut.