Friday, December 22 2006
Astronaut's Camera is Lost In Space
Houston, we have a problem.
A camera was accidentally turned into a satellite when it detached from astronaut Suni Williams during a seven-hour spacewalk last weekend. Williams, a member of the space shuttle Discovery crew, was in the process of trying to free a stuck solar array on the international space station.
According to a report on Space.com, the camera floated free from Williams' spacesuit tool bench as she arranged her tethers outside the space station's U.S. Destiny laboratory. A button designed to lock the camera in place may have failed, causing the camera to break free. Debris analysts at NASA are studying the camera's trajectory.
While the camera make and model has not been identified, historically NASA missions bring on board specially-equipped Hasselblads.
The entire incident was captured on a video which has been posted here on YouTube. The following is a partial transcript of the conversation between Suni Williams and Mission Control in Houston as the camera floated away:
Houston: "Uh, Suny, your camera is behind you. I hope it's tethered because it looks like it's passing underneath the arm and reflector."
Williams: "It's not. It came off of the bracket. The bracket came undone."
Houston: "Okay, we see that."
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