"SPACE STATION WORM: What flies through space and wriggles like a worm? Before you answer, take a look at this movie of the International Space Station (ISS):
The footage comes from space shuttle Atlantis, which was flying around the ISS on June 19th after undocking. Cameras on the shuttle recorded not only the behemoth space station, but also a strange wriggling object moving in front of the station's solar panels and radiators. What is it?
Veteran satellite observer John Locker of Wirral, England, who intercepted NASA's Ku band satellite TV link as the two spacecraft orbited over the UK and thus recorded a full-length movie of the object, calls it the "space station worm." At first he thought it might be an item lost by a spacewalking astronaut. "It looks a lot like the strap hanging down from Steven Swanson's waist," he points out: image. But the worm seems much too big for that.
Another possibility is ice. Space journalist Jim McDade notes that "pieces of ice have been flying off spacecraft since the Mercury days. Don't forget John Glenn's fireflys. Ice tends to dance and roll as it sublimates in the microgravity, near vacuum of space." For instance, a ring of ice dislodged from the shuttle's thruster nozzles, bent and tumbling, might produce a semblance of wriggling."
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