Amateur Ontario astronomer spots tool bag in space
Published Tuesday, November 25, 2008 2:32PM EST
A $100,000 tool bag that drifted away from an astronaut working on the international space station last week has been spotted and filmed by an amateur astronomer from Brockville, Ont.
The backpack-sized tool bag floated away from astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper last Tuesday while she was completing a repair job on the outside of the ISS.
Amateur astronomer Kevin Fetter filmed the bag after locating it on Saturday and posted the video to YouTube.
"The U.S. military tracks this stuff so because they released the information I could actually point exactly where it was going to pass," Fetter told CTV Newsnet on Tuesday.
"I was surprised it was as bright as it was, I wasn't sure how bright it would actually be when it passed."
Fetter said anyone can spot the bag with a pair of binoculars if they know where to look.
He said the bag will keep orbiting the earth until it's orbit decays and it burns up upon re-entry to earth.
The tool bag is not the only thing Fetter has spotted from his backyard.
"A while ago they actually released a space suit with a radio transmitter called SuitSat and I got that on video passing by," he said.
Fetter was also able to spot two inflatable modules that were sent into space.
He says lots of people enjoy looking at his videos online.
"I've had comments from around the world -- a lady from Australia contacted me because she saw the video," he said.
According to NASA, the tool bag was one of the largest items ever lost by a spacewalker.