The highly reflective lost crew lock bag will be visible over parts of Britain tomorrow, as Martha Fairlie reports
Look towards the sky on Tuesday evening and you just might be able to spot an item of lost property circling the Earth.
A tool kit that was lost in space by Nasa astronauts three weeks ago – and Britons may be able to catch a glimpse of the floating bag.
How did the bag get lost in space?
A pair of Nasa astronauts accidentally let go of the tool bag while carrying out repairs on the international space station.
They were carrying out the fiddly task of reconfiguring the ethernet cable and replacing the trundle bearing assembly when they lost sight of the crew lock bag.
Despite going back, the two Nasa astronauts couldn’t find it.
The bag was pictured days later by a Japanese astronaut as he flew over Mount Fuji.
Where is the bag heading and where can you catch a glimpse of it?
The small but highly reflective bag is travelling through the sky at speed, according to astronomers who are tracking it from Earth.
With the help of binoculars, the bright bag is expected to be visible in parts of the UK on Tuesday evening.
It is expected to be seen across parts of south Wales, the Costwolds and Oxfordshire.
It will then track across the northernmost suburbs of London towards the east coast.
Jake Foster, an astronomer at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, told ITV News: “The tool bag is going to be rising from the south west and, gradually, over the course of only about five minutes or so, it’s going to move further to the east.
“We know it’s following the same path as the international space station. We know that the tool bag is about 10 minutes ahead of it now – so it’s travelling quite fast.
“The idea would be to know where the space station is going to be, and then five to 10 minutes beforehand, look in that spot – hopefully you’ll see the tool bag.”
Have items been lost in space before?
Yes – but it isn’t a common occurrence. In 1965, Ed White lost a spare glove when he became the first American to make a space walk.
In 2007, a camera drifted away after coming loose from an astronaut, while in 2008, another tool bag was lost during repairs to the international space station.
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