Astronauts lose bags; know when it falls to earth

Last Wednesday (1st), the fourth all-female space activity (EVA) in history took place, carried out by two NASA astronauts outside the International Space Station (ISS). At the time, a bag of equipment fell into orbit – and the organization already has an estimate of when the object will fall to Earth.

Let us understand:

  • NASA astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara performed several missions outside the ISS during a spacewalk last week;
  • The service starts at 9:05 am (Brasília time) on Wednesday (1st), ends 6 hours and 42 minutes later;
  • They replace one of the 12 groups of bearings in the orbiting laboratory’s solar array, which allows the panels to track the sun and generate electricity;
  • In addition, they also fixed the installation of the cable that interferes with the external camera;
  • One final task would be to remove and store the electronic junction box called the Radio Group, but there was not enough time to do this task;
  • During the operation, one of the equipment bags was lost, making it impossible to continue the operation.
NASA astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli (above) and Loral O’Hara (below) during a spacewalk for an outside inspection of the space station on Wednesday (1st). Credit: NASA TV

According to NASA’s statement, flight controllers found the bag using a camera outside the station. Mission Control on the ground has examined the object of the trajectory and determined that the risk of collision with the ISS is low and that both the structure and the crew are safe safe, no need to do anything.

Read more:

Can the tool box be found by scientists?

The first estimate shows that the spacecraft should re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere on April 21, 2024, with a margin of error of 84 hours (which could be as long as three and a half days before or after).

According to the columnist of See Digital Marcelo Zurita, president of the Paraibana Astronomy Association (APA), member of the Brazilian Astronomical Society (SAB) and director of the Brazilian Meteor Observation Network (BRAMON), he could not determine the location of the season fall leaves “Six months in advance, it’s hard to have a clear idea of ​​where things will land.”

According to him, this type of situation is not a common occurrence, but it happens. “Usually, everything that is removed from the vehicle during EVA is attached to the safety rope, but in some cases, the astronaut has to release the hooks to reach another part of the space metal. At this time, traveling more than 28 thousand km / h, every wrong move can mean that your equipment is lost forever.”

Zurita says that there is no chance of the suitcase reaching the normal world. “Tools made of more resistant materials can survive, but because the temperature is so high, most of them will melt when passing through the air. If something happens, it able to save it, although it is very difficult, because this requires constant and thorough monitoring of the object.”

NASA astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara made the fourth all-female spacewalk in the history of the ISS. Photo: NASA/Robert Markowitz

Moghbeli and O’Hara are a two-woman duo to make EVA all women. The three previous journeys were made by astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir, and by NASA, in October 2019 and January 2020.

This is the 12th spacewalk to the ISS this year and the 269th dedicated to assembling, maintaining and renovating the station since its creation.

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