Tool bag in earth orbit dropped accidently

Well, here’s a space blooper for you: a tool bag is currently on an unplanned orbit around Earth, and if you’re into sky watching, you might actually catch a glimpse of it. NASA astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara were doing a bit of handiwork outside the International Space Station (ISS) on November 2, 2023, when, oopsie daisy, Moghbeli accidentally let go of a tool bag. So now, we’ve got this shining tool bag cruising just ahead of the ISS, visible to the naked eye at about magnitude +6 and even better with binoculars.

Now, the big question: how long is this tool bag going to be our accidental satellite? Well, it’s not here to stay. The experts say it’ll hang around Earth for a few months before taking a nosedive into our atmosphere. Unlike the ISS, it won’t stick around for a chat; it’s going to descend pretty quickly until it hits about 70 miles (113 km) and poof, disintegrates. Initial guesses suggest we’ll say our final goodbye to the tool bag around March 2024.

And hey, if you’re into some amateur stargazing, grab those binoculars! The tool bag, being the diva it is, is visible at around magnitude +6. Keep an eye on the ISS’s path, and you might spot our lost tool bag hanging out just a couple of minutes ahead of it. It’s like a cosmic game of hide and seek.

By the way, these astronauts were out there doing some repairs on the ISS’s solar arrays, making sure they can keep soaking up that sunshine without any hiccups. Talk about a day on the job!

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