A few days ago, NASA confirmed that a small piece of space debris crashed into the robotic arm connected to the chief pod of the International Space Station. It hit with enough impact that it punched a hole straight through it.
Fortunately, the ISS robotic arm has been given the go-ahead to continue operating as it still works optimally and requires no further maintenance at this point. However, this incident has raised concerns over the potential hazard space debris may cause for future missions, the ISS, the Chinese Space Station and all other satellites currently in orbit.
The US Space Surveillance Network tracks every known piece of space debris, but some go undetected. Currently, there are over 23,000 pieces of known space junk, each travelling at speeds of up to 17,000 mph – to put that into perspective, your average bullet travels at around 1,600 mph.
There are space junk cleanup programs in development currently. However, these missions are expensive and will take decades to make a noticeable difference.
Watch the video below by the YouTube channel Today, on Space Junk Crashes Into International Space Station.