An important concern for astronauts aboard the ISS is orbital debris that move around the planet and could pose a potential danger for the space station. While orbital debris have never been an important problem for ISS and astronauts on board, recently, an impact on orbital debris has occurred. The Canadian Robotic Arm Attached to the ISS used to manipulate cargo and other objects outside the space station have recently been affected by a piece of orbital debris.
We do not know exactly when the impact happened. The damage to the robotic arm have been noticed during a routine inspection of the arm on May 12. The Canadian Space Agency and NASA work together to take detailed images from the region and assess the impact on one of the arrow arrow sections. The spatial agency indicates that the current analysis indicates that the performance of the robotic arm does not remain affected.
The spatial agencies report that the damage caused to the arm are limited to a small part of the arrow and thermal cover of the arm. CANADArM2 should continue to perform fully planned operations, including a dextrous hoist to replace a defective power switching box. Did NASA and the Canadian Space Agency declared to continue gathering data to conclude short-term robotic analysis and operations continue as planned.
NASA and its partner agencies have a long list of guidelines for the crew aboard the spatial station to be safe. NASA and CSA say that the safety of astronauts aboard the ISS is the absolute priority for all station partners. Currently, more than 23,000 objects the size of a soft bullet or more is constantly followed to warn potential collisions with satellites or ISS.
However, a range of tiny objects covering the size of the particles of dust and rocks with satellite paint flecks are too small to be monitored. Traveling at extremely high speeds, even those tiny pieces of debris pose a potential risk for the ISS.