17 May 2016

Space debris causes chip in space station window

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 2:10 pm on 17 May 2016
Small chip in window of the International Space Station

Small chip in window of the International Space Station Photo: Tim Peake ESA/NASA

The international space station's windows are made of fused-silica and borosilicate-glass, but that doesn't stop them from being vulnerable to space debris.

The chip in the station's cupola window is less than a centimetre across and was most likely caused by something extremely small, like a flake of paint or a tiny piece of metal. As astronaut Tim Peake put it  "glad it is quadruple glazed"

Jer-Chyi Liou is the Chief science officer of NASA Orbital Debris Program, he explains why space debris remains such a big risk.

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