The International Space Station Just Jettisoned the Largest Piece of Space Junk Ever. We Asked a Space Debris Expert What to Expect.

The 2.9-ton pallet of old batteries are traveling towards Earth at 4.8 miles per second.

An external pallet packed with old nickel-hydrogen batteries is pictured shortly after mission controllers in Houston commanded the Canadarm2 robotic arm to release it into space. [Credit: NASA]
The Canadarm2 robotic arm, with an external pallet packed with old nickel-hydrogen batteries in its grip, is pictured as the International Space Station orbited 260 miles above the Sahara in the African nation of Chad. [Credit: NASA]

We operate the only federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) committed exclusively to the space enterprise.