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Robotic arm on the ISS damaged by space debris


Still Waters
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

The inevitable has occurred. A piece of space debris too small to be tracked has hit and damaged part of the International Space Station - namely, the Canadarm2 robotic arm.

The instrument is still operational, but the object punctured the thermal blanket and damaged the boom beneath. It's a sobering reminder that the low-Earth orbit's space junk problem is a ticking time bomb.

It's unclear exactly when the impact occurred. The damage was first noticed on 12 May, during a routine inspection. NASA and the CSA worked together to take detailed images of and assess the damage.

"Despite the impact, results of the ongoing analysis indicate that the arm's performance remains unaffected," the CSA wrote in a blog post. "The damage is limited to a small section of the arm boom and thermal blanket. Canadarm2 is continuing to conduct its planned operations."

https://www.sciencealert.com/space-debris-has-damaged-the-international-space-station

https://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/iss/news.asp#20210528

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It is a bit premature to say it is space debris. It could also be a meteorite.

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I think that anyone (nation, corporation, rich guy, whatever) who puts something up must be 100% responsible for bringing it down safely. There should be no exceptions. If they don't, they have to pay for a space cleaning crew to send something up to collect their mess...Which would probably cost in the 100's of millions, if not billions...

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·
1 hour ago, NCC1701 said:

It is a bit premature to say it is space debris. It could also be a meteorite.

Possible, but unlikely.

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On 6/3/2021 at 12:13 AM, NCC1701 said:

It is a bit premature to say it is space debris. It could also be a meteorite.

No, it wasn't a meteorite. It was a piece of space debris

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