It is unclear exactly when the impact occurred. The damage was first noticed on 12 May, during a routine inspection.
“NASA and the CSA worked together to take detailed images of and assess the damage…Despite the impact, results of the ongoing analysis indicate that the arm's performance remains unaffected. The damage is limited to a small section of the arms boom and thermal blanket. Canadarm2 is continuing to conduct its planned operations,” the statement says.
Canadarm2 - formally known as the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS), designed by the Canadian Space Agency - has been a fixture on the space station for 20 years. It's a multi-jointed titanium robotic arm that can assist with maneuvering objects outside the ISS, including cargo shuttles, and performing station maintenance.
Although the ISS seems to have gotten lucky this time, the space debris problem does seem to be increasing. Last year, the ISS had to perform emergency maneuvers three times in order to avoid collisions with space debris at its altitude of around 400 kilometers (250 miles).
As it was reported earlier, the US-Ukrainian company Firefly Aerospace, co-founded by Ukrainian businessman Max Polyakov, has signed a contract with Elon Musk’s SpaceX company to launch its Blue Ghost lunar lander in 2023.