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Astronauts accidentally drop toolbox during space walk – and you could see it from Earth

NASA astronauts accidentally dropped their toolbox during a walk around the International Space Station – and the floating kit could be visible from Earth.

Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara spent six hours and 42 minutes outside the ISS as they carried out maintenance work.

But a satchel-sized bag floated away and is now orbiting the Earth, several minutes ahead of the space station.

It was even captured on camera by the pair’s Japanese colleague Satoshi Furukawa, who accidentally photographed the bag while taking a shot of Mount Fuji.

NASA said the tools were not needed for the remainder of the spacewalk.

Mission Control analysed the bag’s trajectory and determined the risk of recontacting the station was low, and that the onboard crew and space station were safe.

The bag has been classified as space junk and is expected to re-enter the Earth’s orbit in the coming months, but will likely burn up as it does so.

EarthSky said some people should be able to see it floating around with just a pair of binoculars.

“It’s surprisingly bright (for a tool bag), shining just below the limit of visibility to the unaided eye,” its website said.

There are believed to be around 100,000 items of orbital debris currently circling the earth.

This isn’t the first time an astronaut has lost a toolbox – in November 2008, Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper was performing a similar repair when the same thing happened.

In 2006, spacewalker Piers Sellers sheepishly reported that he lost a spatula.

And in 1965, the first American spacewalker, Ed White, lost a spare glove when he went outside for the first time.

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