The Space Tools’ Re-entry

Earth orbit is not a good place to drop your tools. And I have to say, I feel rather sorry for astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, who did exactly that during an EVA during the STS-126 service mission to the space station. She’s quoted as saying that the incident was “…definitely was not the high point of the EVA. It was very disheartening to watch it float away.”

Nevertheless, the toolbag itself has become nothing short of legendary back down here on Earth (at least on the internet). The toolbag has been in a low orbit ever since, and has passed around the planet over 4000 times. You can even track it using websites like, and numerous satellite spotters have made a point of looking for it. Amazingly, it can be seen with a telescope or a good pair of binoculars. Various astronomers have caught it on camera ever since, either in stills or even in videos like this one:

The legendary backpack-sized satchel is destined to meet its demise, however. A bit later today (August 3rd), it’s due to hit Earth’s atmosphere somewhere west of Mexico. According to estimates, the famous bag o’bolts is set to burn up completely as a fireball at approximately 1316 GMT.

Source: Universe Today

About Invader Xan

Molecular astrophysicist, usually found writing frenziedly, staring at the sky, or drinking mojitos.
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