Space station astronaut loses mirror during maintenance spacewalk

Astronaut Chris Cassidy, dressed but without a helmet, smiles and clenches his fist in 2013.

Astronaut Chris Cassidy in 2013.

Shamil Zhumatov / Getty Images

While doing routine maintenance on the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy accidentally added space junk already floating around our planet.

When Cassidy changed a large battery weighing 428 pounds (194 kilograms) on the outside of the International Space Station, a small mirror attached to her spacesuit broke and floated away, CNN reported Friday.

These mirrors are attached to the wrist to help astronauts see electrical components in a space suit and to see any blind spots that may occur. Mirrors are 5 by 3 inches (7 by 12 centimeters) and weigh one-tenth of a pound (50 grams).

In addition to the mirror accident, Cassidy and fellow NASA astronaut Robert Behnken “completed all of the work scheduled on their first of four spacewalks to replace the batteries that provide power for the space station’s solar panels, as well as tasks. initials originally planned for the second spacewalk scheduled for next Wednesday, “NASA said in a blog post on Friday.

The two astronauts replaced the existing nickel-hydrogen batteries with new lithium-ion batteries. The new batteries store the energy generated by the station’s solar panels to supply power to the microgravity laboratory when the station is not in sunlight.

Friday’s spacewalk lasted 6 hours and 7 minutes. Cassidy and Behnken plan to do more tasks on a second spacewalk on July 1.

NASA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.