A NASA astronaut lost her bag of tools outside the International Space Station earlier today when she went outside to clean up a solar panel. Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper's grease gun exploded all over her helmet camera and gloves, and while wiping off the mess, she shifted her attention off the tool bag. She lost her grip and it floated away. "Oh, great," she was reported to mumble.Luckily, fellow astronaut Stephen Bowen was nearby to help afterwards, sharing his tools with Stefanyshyn-Piper. Flight controllers are currently trying to track its location in orbit and determine its impact on the next three spacewalks. "Oh, great"? Really? Since E.T. is back home now, I suppose he can call the space station to find out what's up, track down the bag, and personally hand-deliver it to Stefanyshyn-Piper. Only she'll be like, "Holy mother *bleep* what the *bleep* *bleep* Reeses' *bleep* *bleep* Pieces *bleep*!!" [Associated Press]
I really don't see anything terribly strange about this. I was changing an oil filter once and my hands were a little too greasy and I ended up sending all kinds of stuff (wrenches, socket parts, the new filter) squirting out of my hands like watermelon seeds between the fingers. Fortunately, they all skittered across the garage floor and came to rest so that I could pick them up. Honestly, I found the whole experience rather funny and it was an object lesson on keeping rags handy and tools wiped clean ... a lesson I learned and practice to this day. I can't imagine how awkward and unsettling it would be to have the same greasy-hands problem while in orbit. I'm sure the offending grease gun is due for a serious re-design.