My mornings start with NPR and coffee in the car on the way to work. I enjoy my commute since I get caught up on the latest news while not having to deal with traffic jams and road rage (advantage of rural Maine). This morning I heard about a news story that just cracked me up all day long.
So there were these two astronauts (pause for laughter) who were in outer space working on their space shuttle. The arm that moves to adjust the solar panel needed its regular greasing. While the two astronauts were outside greasing the solar panel arm it is discovered that the grease gun accidentally released some grease inside the bag, as well as on the glove of the astronaut. While they were trying to clean the glove a bag gets loose and goes floating off into space.
I'm not joking folks, this is the type of important news that NPR is covering now that the elections are over. Now I'm one for a space story every now and then, and I can also understand that sometimes people need a break from all of that "serious" news, but a fly away bag gets this much attention. Once I got home today, after hearing about the story two more times while in the car at various times during the day, I decided to Google the story. Well, who knew that a little loose grease in space and a fly away bag would be so popular! You can watch a movie of it, hear a press conference from NASA discussing the events and see numerous pictures. In the picture to the left you can see the bag floating away. This story is not only being covered by NPR but the BBC and CNN are covering it too!
Here is a little list I found on CNN of other items that have been lost by astronauts while working in space:
-- During a September 2006 spacewalk, astronaut Joe Tanner, accidentally released a bolt, spring and washer. -- During a July 2006 spacewalk, astronauts Piers Sellers and Michael Fossum lost a 14-inch spatula while testing a method to repair the space shuttle. -- During a December 1998 spacewalk, a thermal cover and two tools escaped from astronaut Jerry Ross.