When any kind of unidentified flying object floats by the International Space Station, you can bet astronauts are going to notice. That's just what happened this week, and one space traveler caught it all on video.
NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy was quick on the draw when he captured a video of the 'unidentified object' near the space station. He spotted the object floating near the space station on Monday (Aug. 19).
"Was it a UFO? Not really," NASA officials wrote in a video description. "Russian ground controllers identified it as an antenna cover from the Zvezda service module."
The object was an antenna cover from one of the low-gain WAL antennas on the space station used to help guide the European Space Agency's unmanned Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo ships during rendezvous and docking operations, NASA officials said.
NASA spokesman Josh Byerly told SPACE.com in an email that the wayward antenna cover, which is now space junk, poses no impact threat to the space station.
During a spacewalk outside the station today (Aug. 22), two Russian cosmonauts are inspecting six WAL antennas on the Zvezda module to check the positions of their covers. The cosmonauts reported some of the covers to be loose and were expected to tighten them back in place.
The International Space Station is currently home to six space travelers representing Russia, the United States and Italy. Its Expedition 36 crew includes three cosmonauts from Russia, two American astronauts representing NASA and one Italian astronaut representing the European Space Agency.