Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Astronaut spots "bullet hole" in ISS solar panel

Astronaut spots "bullet hole" in ISS solar panel
 An Astronaut on-board the
International Space Station has spotted a small object,
possibly a meteoroid, that flew through a solar panel, leaving
a "bullet hole" on ISS.
    Expedition 35 commander Chris Hadfield shared a photo on a
social networking site, showing a portion of one of the solar
array wings on the ISS with a small but very visible hole made
by a passing meteoroid.
    Hadfield referred to the object in one of the panel cells
as "a small stone from the universe."
    "Glad it missed the hull," Hadfield said.
    Likened to a bullet hole, whatever struck the solar panel
was actually travelling much faster when it hit, 'Universe
Today' website reported.
    Meteoroids are travelling through space at speeds of well
over 40234kph - many times faster than any bullet, the website
    The ISS, luckily, has a multi-layered hull consisting of
layers of different materials, providing protection from
micrometeorite impacts.
    If an object were to hit an inhabited section of the
Station, it would be slowed down enough by the different
layers to either not make it to the main hull or else merely
create an audible "ping."

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