One of the ISS windows took a hard blow but no one knows for sure, yet, if the so-called space junk is involved or not. Discovered by a Spanish amateur astronomer, who decided to share it on his Twitter account, the pic of the ISS cracked window became viral and has even reached scientists and astronauts who started working to find out what lies behind this impact.
“We do not have any direct information, but, from the photo, it seems that this is an impact of a very small object against the window, which has left a small crack,” says Spanish astronaut Pedro Duque.
In the absence of more information, this aeronautical engineer, who was on the ISS on a mission in 2003, points out that it is surely an impact on one of the windows of the so-called ‘observation dome’, a module that has seven windows allows the crew to see at 360 degrees around and take different pics.
The astronauts assure that in spite of how spectacular and dangerous it may seem, the truth is that the ISS is prepared for these impacts and even for others with much bigger objects.
The problem of space junk and ISS windows
Although it may sound strange, this case is not the first one ISS had experienced. Also, a couple of years ago, a lot of noise was generated after astronaut Tim Peake shared a photo with a similar crack in one of the ISS windows.
Back then, the so-called space junk or micrometeoroid and orbital debris (MMOD) was the culprit.
As for how the crew on ISS fixes these issues, they usually do it in an EVA (Extra-vehicular activity) mission, which is nothing more than an operation in which astronauts leave the station.
The external panels can be changed from the outside, as well as the pressurized ones, and these missions have been frequently conducted on ISS.
In short, one of the ISS windows took a hard blow, presumably due to space junk, and a Spanish amateur astronomer noticed that in a pic and made it viral on Twitter.