Lost in Space: Astronaut Who Lost Her Tools Admits “Ooops”

The astronaut who lost her tool bag on a spacewalk admitted Wednesday that she made a mistake by not checking to see if the sack was tied down, and said she’s still smarting over the whole thing.

By MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer

Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper said in an interview with The Associated Press that it was “very disheartening” to lose her bag full of tools. She was trying to clean up grease that had oozed out of a grease gun in the backpack-size bag, when the tote and everything in it floated away Tuesday.

The bag was one of the largest items ever lost by a spacewalking astronaut. NASA put the price tag of the tool bag at $100,000.

For a split second, she thought she might be able to grab it and she tried to judge how far away it was. Just as quickly, “I thought, no, that would probably just make things worse and the best thing to do would be to just let it go.”

In this image from NASA TV, a tool  kit bag, top right, floats ...
“There she goes!”  In this image from NASA TV, a tool kit bag, top right, floats to the right and rear of the International Space Station, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2008. The bag was being used by astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper during a scheduled 6 1/2-hour spacewalk. Stefanyshyn-Piper lost grasp of it during a procedure and it floated away.(AP Photo/NASA TV)

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