Backyard space watcher films lost toolbag
A toolbag lost in space by an American astronaut in an unprece burberry bags sale dented blunder last week has been spotted and filmed by a backyard satellite watcher in Canada.
Astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn Piper watched helplessly as the bag drifted away from her while she was cleaning and greasing a a gummed up joint on a wing of solar panels on the International Space Station.
The bag which NASA says costs about $US100,000 and is one of the largest items lost on a spacewalk became untethered from a larger kit and floated away, taking with it a pair of grease guns, wipes and a putty knife.
NASA video clips of the incident, which have been viewed more than 100,000 times on YouTube, show Stefanyshyn Piper reaching out, but to no avail.
Now, Kevin Fetter, a veteran satellite observer in Brockville, Ontario, has spotted the lost tool bag using his backyard observatory and published a video of it online.
He captured the backpack sized bag at the exact time it passed over his observatory.
In an email interview, Fetter said his find had little to do with luck and he had plann burberry bags sale ed to capture the tool bag on video as it was “something new in orbit”.
The US military tracks objects in space and releases orbital data about them, allowing star gazers to pinpoint their location.
“Depending on the size of the object and how much light its surface reflects will determine if I can see it, and get it on video,” Fetter said.
Lister Staveley Smith, professor of physics at the University of Western Australia and vice president of the Astronomical Society of Australia, said military radars coul burberry bags sale d track objects “much smaller than a tool bag” using equipment similar to the airport radars used to detect planes.
“The radio waves are sent out from a radar, they bounce off the tool bag or satellite and [then] they come back to Earth and are detected by a radar [receiver],” he said.
The information allowed astronomers to pinpoint the location of the object to within a few metres f burberry bags sale rom its actual location, he added.
Fetter used a $900 Celestron Nexstar 102 SLT telescope fitted with a high resolution camera, which was in turn connected via a networking cable to his computer. The set up allows him to control the telescope from inside his house and record the video directly to his computer.
A detailed outline of Fetter’s equipment and several video clips of his space observations can be found on his website.
“I don’t have any [professional] background in astronomy. Just one night I looked up at the night sky and got hooked on astronomy. It was many years later that I started satellite observing,” he said.
Staveley Smith said it was important for NASA to monitor the position of the tool bag as there was a remote chance it could cause damage to the space station.
“As space junk goes it’s quite small but because it’s roughly in the same orbit as the space station itself there’s a chance that it might later on collide with the space station’s solar panels,” he said.
In an interview from the space station with The Associated Press after losing the bag, Stefanyshyn Piper vowed to triple check all tethers to avoid another incident.