A space rock leaves a bullet-sized hole in an ISS solar panel.
Small rocks and pieces from meteors and asteroids, commonly referred to as space debris, are flying around constantly.
On average, these bits travel at around 5 miles per second, meaning that no matter the size of the flying object, the damage can be huge. Recently, the International Space Station Commander unveiled a photo on social media site, Twitter depicting the impact from a space rock that had collided with one of the solar panels on the space station.
The rock ripped a small hole straight through the covering. The ISS Commander referred to the new opening as a “bullet hole” and expressed relief that the piece missed the Space Station’s hull.
Although the harm was luckily minimal, there will always be a concern relating to such future collisions from such debris and manmade objects.
Scientists estimate that if something isn’t done about the quantity of manmade debris floating through space, massive collisions will start occurring every 5 to 9 years. Abandoned equipment like launching pads and non-working satellites comprise the larger pieces of floating junk, but NASA estimates there are over 500 hundred thousand particles roughly the size of a marble out there.