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28 Jul, 2009 08:50

Space tools to fall from the sky

Space tools to fall from the sky

The tool bag lost during a spacewalk by a NASA astronaut is about to finally return to Earth – in a mini-inferno of fiery scraps flying over the sky.

The bag joined the plethora of debris circling around the planet in November 2008, as Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper was doing repair works at the International Space Station. According to the American space agency, it was the largest single piece of hardware lost by an astronaut during work in open space.

The bag was later spotted by an amateur astronomer, while another one made a video of the container as it was passing through the night sky.

The tool bag, which is worth an estimated US$100,000, is to enter the atmosphere on Tuesday, reports ITAR-TASS agency citing space monitoring services. While it will most likely burn completely before getting to the surface, some tools made of high-grade steel may still survive the heat and even do some damage. The probability of somebody getting a hit on the head with a space wrench is very low, however.