There’s a lot of obsessing about spy balloons and balloons with unidentified objects attached lately, but there are stranger man-made object floating around out in space. We (earthlings) monitor about 34,000 pieces of space junk but it’s estimated that there are trillions of pieces of “space junk” zooming around the cosmos.
Below are a few of the weirder items adrift making up the wonderful world of space junk!
SPACE WASTE Space waste is made up of everything from old satellites to spent rocket stages and lost equipment, such as a glove lost by astronaut Ed White on the first American space-walk. Other lost items in space include a camera and garbage bags.
DEAD ANIMALS Before humans went into space, it wasn’t uncommon for animals to be sent, particularly primates. Over the years, over 30 monkeys (many called Albert) have been used on missions, as well as Laika the dog, Hector the rat and many other animals. However, not all of them made the journey home and it is thought dozens have been left to drift aimlessly around space before eventually burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere.
TOOL BAG In November 2008, astronaut Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper lost her grip on a bag containing $700,000 worth of tools. The tools floated away but amateur astronomers claim to have spotted them in space from time to time (although it’s widely believed they burned up on re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere).
PIZZA In 2001, Pizza Hut became the first company to deliver pizza in space. The restaurant chain paid over $800,000 for the privilege of delivering a pizza to Russian cosmonaut. However, instead of pepperoni, salami was the topper, as pepperoni lacked the required shelf life.
Check out www.natgeokids.com for more fun facts about outer space!