There are currently billions of space junk pieces smaller than 1 mm (0.04 inches) out in Earth’s orbit, hundreds of millions of objects between 1 and 10 mm in size, and about half a million objects in the range 1 to 10 cm, according to Dr Karl over at ABC News.
While the astronauts, Peggy Whitson and Shane Kimbrough were performing maintenaince work at the International Space Station, they accidentally dropped an important key piece that was part of protection system of the entire station.
That piece of material needed to protect Tranquility module from micrometeorites. NASA analyzed the problem immediately and they were assured that it would not be a possible incident and the object of 1.5 meters will not collide with the International Space Station.
Dan Huot, NASA speaker, said that such incidents are present all the time and sometimes it happens that astronauts lose even a toolbox.
Fortunately, astronauts find a quick alternative and replaced the lost object with a new one that they had on hand.