Junk We've Lost in Outer Space

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2009 7:30 PM CST
Man, these astronauts are clumsy.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – In the wake of two satellites colliding this week—and debris apparently falling on several states—Wired runs down a list of objects we've lost in outer space:

  • A spatula: Used to apply heat-shield repair goo, the implement's loss was a blow to one astronaut. "That was my favorite spatch," he said. "Don’t tell the other spatulas."
  • The $100,000 toolbag: This costly 2008 mistake still orbits, and can be tracked online.

  • 1,400 lbs of ammonia: The International Space Station once used the chemical for AC, but an upgrade made it unnecessary, and NASA tossed it. Heard about recycling?
  • Gene Rodenberry's remains: The Star Trek creator's ashes orbited in a lipstick-sized container before burning up in 1992.
  • Urine: Before filtration arrived on the ISS, waste was ejected. Astronauts described its crystallization as one of the more beautiful sights in space.
For more space losses, click the link below.