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Lost in space: $100,000 tool bag from NASA spacewalk
This photograph taken by a Japanese astronaut aboard the ISS shows the lost tool bag over Earth. (Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency/NASA)
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Lost in space: $100,000 tool bag from NASA spacewalk
by Clyde Hughes
Washington DC (UPI) Nov 13, 2023

Every construction worker who ever accidentally left their tools at their worksite now has something in common with NASA astronauts, who lost a tool bag worth $100,000 during a spacewalk on Nov. 1, the space agency announced.

The white satchel, which can now be seen orbiting the Earth with a telescope or a good pair of binoculars, is hovering about 200 miles above the planet. The bag eluded astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O'Hara during a maintenance spacewalk on the International Space Station.

The astronomy website EarthSky said the tool bag, which is orbiting in the sky just ahead of the space station, is shining just below the limit of visibility to the unaided eye, where it could be seen with minimal help.

For those worried about the tools falling on someone's head on Earth, experts said there is no chance of that happening. The tool bag is expected to remain in orbit for a few more months, where it is expected to descend and promptly disintegrate in Earth's atmosphere.

The tool bag should meet its fiery fate around March, according to EarthSky.

In the meantime, the tool bag has been officially cataloged as space junk ID 58229 / 1998-067WC. It was seen Sunday by Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa floating over Mount Fuji.

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