Is this a UFO or just a jettisoned ISS component ? Image Credit: YouTube / NASA / ET Data Base
A recent video allegedly shows a mystery object outside the space station, but is everything as it seems ?
The footage, which was picked up by numerous news outlets and has since racked up over half a million views on YouTube, shows a clearly visible object near the International Space Station.
While the media was quick to label the object a 'UFO' and imply that the video represents evidence of extraterrestrial visitation, the truth of the matter is actually a lot less exciting.
Far from being an alien craft, the object is actually a retired communications component that had been jettisoned from the station as part of a controlled effort to minimize the build-up of space debris.
"In a controlled fashion, at the right moment, at the right time and the right trajectory we released this - or we jettisoned this piece of hardware to return ashes to ashes, dust to dust back to the planet," said NASA astronaut Doug Wheelock during a recent radio interview.
"It's a piece of communication hardware which we've upgraded since that time."
NASA spokesperson Stephanie Schierholz has also since confirmed that the incident was "a planned event to dispose of the unused part."