The Earth is constantly bombarded by matter from space. Is there any risk of high velocity dust particle/micro-object (cosmic garbage e.g.) impact on astronauts while in outer space?

What chance is there to be hit by such small but energetic objects and what would be the consequences?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The suits used for EVA have a micro meteroite protection of multiple thin layers. Hopefully the dust particles do not damage the inner layers of the suit, especially the layer holding the pressure of the breathing gas. $\endgroup$ – Uwe Aug 3 '18 at 15:49

It's a risk.

The danger has been calculated as follows:

We computed the risk for a peak year of EVA activity, assumed by NASA to consist of 624 hours of EVA exposure. For that time period, we found that, the probability of a fatality is about 1.4x10-3 without shielding and 1.1x10-3 per 624 hours of EVA with shielding.

Currently there is no shielding. (It wouldn't seem to help much based on these numbers)

source: Risks of particle hits during space walks in low Earth orbit

  • $\begingroup$ Samples of EVA suit materials may be exposed to space at the ISS and later inspected for damages by particles. Was a test like this done using the ISS? $\endgroup$ – Uwe Aug 5 '18 at 10:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.