Female astronaut loses toolkit in space

Tool bag turns space junk in spacewalk gaff

A female astronaut lost one of the largest items ever on a spacewalk recently, after she accidentally let go of her toolkit.

The astronaut had been performing a spacewalk at the time, in order to fix a faulty solar panel.

While working on the panel, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper let go of her tool bag, as a grease gun that was inside exploded.

With space being, well, space, the bag floated leaving Stefanyshyn-Piper helpless to anything, except mutter, "Oh, great."

Little, big hiccup

Eventually the solar panel was fixed, but it took a further six hours as she had to share tools with another astronaut.

Speaking about the gaff, Stefanyshyn-Piper explained: "Despite my little hiccup, or major hiccup, I think we did a good job out there."

A further three spacewalks are planned. Because of this, Mission Control is assessing the impact the space junk will have on the walks. And they're maybe having second thoughts about Stefanyshyn-Piper's accident-prone DIY skills.


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Marc (Twitter, Google+) is the content team lead for Future Technology, where he is in charge of a 14-strong team of journalists who write many of the wonderful stories that end up on TechRadar, T3.com and T3 magazine. Prior to this he was deputy editor of TechRadar, had a 10-month stint editing a weekly iPad magazine, written film reviews for a whole host of publications and has been an integral part of many magazines that are no longer with us.