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Meteoroid ‘bullet hole’ found in International Space Station solar panel

Expedition commander shared photo showing portion of one of the solar array wings on ISS with a visible hole.

Written by PTI | Washington | Published: April 30, 2013 7:00:40 pm

An astronaut on-board the International Space Station (ISS) has spotted a small object,possibly a meteoroid,that flew through a solar panel,leaving a ‘bullet hole’ on ISS.

Expedition 35 commander Chris Hadfield shared a photo on a social networking site,showing a portion of one of the solar array wings on the ISS with a small but very visible hole made by a passing meteoroid.

Hadfield referred to the object in one of the panel cells as “a small stone from the universe.”

“Glad it missed the hull,” Hadfield said.

Likened to a bullet hole,whatever struck the solar panel was actually travelling much faster when it hit,’Universe Today’ website reported.

Meteoroids are travelling through space at speeds of well over 40234kph – many times faster than any bullet,the website said.

The ISS,luckily,has a multi-layered hull consisting of layers of different materials,providing protection from micrometeorite impacts.

If an object were to hit an inhabited section of the Station,it would be slowed down enough by the different layers to either not make it to the main hull or else merely create an audible “ping.”

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