NASA, CSA find holes in the space station's Canadarm2 caused by orbital debris

Over 23,000 objects in orbit are tracked by NASA to ensure that they do not crash into satellites or the ISS that are orbiting the Earth. Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes mall collision can take place. Recently NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) found that some orbital debris had hit the Canadarm2 on the ISS. Canada's contribution to the Space Station, the 17-metre-long robotic arm that was involved in assembling the ISS. It lends a helping hand by doing maintenance on the orbiting laboratory, moves supplies, equipment, and sometimes even astronauts and also performing "cosmic catches" catching visiting vehicles and berthing them.

A hole approximately 5 mm in diameter is visible on the arm. Image credit: NASA/Canadian Space Agency

The damage from the collision was noticed during a routine inspection by CSA and NASA on 12 May. According to a press release by CSA, a hole approximately 5 mm in diameter is visible on the arm. But the Canadarm2 is still functional. The damage to the robotic arm was limited to thermal blanket and arm boom.

CSA said that it took the images of the affected area with NASA and have assessed the impact based on the same. It added that the two space agencies will gather more data and then conclude the analysis.

A video of the damaged Canadarm2 has also been shared by Space.com. It shows the damage caused to the robotic arm after getting hit by the orbital debris.



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