Astronauts Peggy Whitson and Shane Kimbrough accidentally dropped a debris shield during a spacewalk on the ISS in 2017, highlighting challenges of handling objects in microgravity.

The shield was essential to protect the docking port from temperature changes and space debris impacts.

To replace the lost shield, Mission Control used wire ties and improvised solutions until a replacement could be sent.

Debris in space has been accumulating since the 1957 launch of Sputnik, with objects of various sizes posing risks to spacecraft.

Computer models and tracking systems help predict collisions and trigger avoidance maneuvers.

The ISS maintains exclusion zones and performs avoidance maneuvers when debris poses a threat, impacting mission objectives if necessary.

Tools lost in space can be costly due to the expense of rocket launches and the need to conserve weight.

Handling tools in bulky spacesuits is difficult, but training in underwater analogs helps astronauts practice tasks.

Losing small objects like wire ties can have unexpected consequences, including altering satellite orbits to prevent collisions.

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