Space junk hit one of the Space Station’s windows
British Astronaut Tim Peake took this image of a huge chip on one of the Space Station’s windows cause by a tiny speck of space junk.
“I am often asked if the International Space Station is hit by space debris. Yes – this is the chip in one of our Cupola windows, glad it is quadruple glazed!” Peake said.
Thankfully, the chip doesn’t present an immediate threat to the astronauts.
The European Space Agency says the piece of debris that caused this particular chip was “possibly a paint flake or small metal fragment no bigger than a few thousandths of a millimeter across.”
The Cupola was added to the International Space Station in 2010 and provides excellent views of Earth, celestial objects and visiting vehicles. It is made from fused-silica and borosilicate glass, and the “minor strike” poses no threat.
An ESA spokesman said: “The station is provided with extensive shielding around all vital crew and technical areas, so that minor strikes, like this one, pose no threat.
“Larger debris would pose a serious threat. An object up to 1cm in size could disable an instrument or a critical flight system on a satellite. Anything above 1cm could penetrate the shields of the station’s crew modules, and anything larger than 10cm could shatter a satellite or spacecraft into pieces.”