At any given time, there are at least 500,000 small pieces of space debris hurtling around our planet at 15,000 mph, according to ISS astronauts. One unnamed source who works in the aerospace field posted an image of what happens to a block of solid aluminum when it’s hit by a 0.5 oz piece of space debris at that speed and it’s quite shocking to say the least.
Now this solid block of aluminum wasn’t retrieved from the International Space Station, but rather blaster by a light-gas gun in a closed laboratory environment. The crater ended up being approximately 5-inches deep, all caused by something that weighs as little as the eraser found at the end of a standard pencil. Despite how scary this may look, we’d like to focus on things like how the Aurora Borealis looks from the ISS.
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These are done using light gas guns. A way of super accelerating a projectile up to the kilometers per second range. These are normally used to simulate space based impacts like meteors on everything,” said the unnamed source.