Space Junk Hit a Robotic Arm on the International Space Station
by Theresa Machemer/Smithsonianmag.com
On May 12, a routine inspection of a robotic arm on the International Space Station revealed a five-millimeter-wide hole in its thermal covering.
According to a statement by the Canadian Space Agency, the robotic arm known as Canadarm2 collided with a small piece of orbital debris—also known as space junk. The exact object that punched a hole in the robotic arm is unknown. Because the object only damaged the thermal blanket of the arm boom, and not a piece of electronics or machinery, the arm will continue to carry out its planned missions, Ashley Strickland reports for CNN.
“The threat of collisions is taken very seriously. NASA has a long-standing set of guidelines to ensure the safety of Station crew,” says the Canadian Space Agency in its statement. “The safety of astronauts on board the orbiting laboratory remains the top priority of all Station partners.”
Earth is surrounded by orbiting debris: about 8,000 metric tons of it, as of January 1, 2020, reported Elizabeth Gamillo for Smithsonian in January. The U.S. Space Surveillance Network tracks about 23,000 objects that are larger than the size of a softball, writes Elizabeth Howell for Space.com. But there are tens of millions of pieces of debris smaller than a centimeter wide that are too small to be monitored.
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.
She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with her husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescues.
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