[ Mar 30, 2017 ] Spacewalkers improvise after fabric defense floats divided Mission Reports


Shane Kimbrough prepares apparatus before exiting a airlock on Thursday’s spacewalk. Credit: Thomas Pesquet/ESA/NASA

Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson, environment a new record as a world’s many gifted womanlike spacewalker, floated outward a International Space Station Thursday and continued work to set adult a second advancing pier for U.S. organisation packet ships. They also commissioned an upgraded resource send box and protecting helmet before pursuit it a day.

One of a defense segments being commissioned on a empty pier managed to shun a tether, floating divided before a astronauts noticed.

“Peggy, we don’t have a shield,” Kimbrough radioed, surprised.


“Yeah, we don’t have a shield,” he repeated.

“Where is it?” Whitson asked. “Ah, it is right by a radiator. It is relocating hire zenith, maybe half a feet a second and it’s going, looks like true culmination from a radiator angle.”

The micrometeoroid defense was one of 4 being commissioned on a Tranquility module’s outboard port. Flight controllers fast dynamic it acted no hazard of recontacting a hire and after consultation on a ground, engineers suggested a astronauts make adult for a mislaid row by installing a thermal defense they had only private from a advancing pier extension.

They did that, and finished a rest of their objectives before returning to a station’s Quest airlock, repressurizing a cell and finale a seven-hour four-minute spacewalk during 2:33 p.m. EDT (GMT-5)

“Thank we guys, we did an extraordinary job, we had to understanding with, obviously, a emanate early on and came adult with a good plan,” Kimbrough radioed moody controllers. “We unequivocally enjoyed operative with we guys, it was an respect to be partial of a team. Thanks to everybody.”

“Shane, conclude we for a words,” wanderer Anne McClain replied from goal control during a Johnson Space Center. “We positively conclude a work we both have finished over a final integrate of hours and your problem elucidate skills to get a goal accomplished.”

Floating in a Quest airlock, Kimbrough and Whitson switched their spacesuits to battery energy during 7:29 a.m. to strictly flog off U.S. EVA-41, a second NASA spacewalk in one week.

This was a 199th EVA in hire history, a fourth so distant this year, a sixth for Kimbrough and a eighth for Whitson.

Four hours and 22 mins into a excursion, Whitson, a maestro of dual progressing long-duration hire visits, set a new record for accumulative spacewalk time by a womanlike astronaut, leading Sunita Williams’ symbol of 50 hours and 40 minutes. When a spacewalk concluded, Whitson’s sum EVA time stood during 53 hours and 22 minutes, relocating her adult to fifth on a list of many gifted spacewalkers.

NASA is in a routine of environment adult a second advancing pier on a hire to accommodate visits by blurb organisation packet ships being built by Boeing and SpaceX. One pier already is in place on a front of a station’s brazen Harmony module.

Last week, during during a spacewalk by Kimbrough and European Space Agency wanderer Thomas Pesquet, cables joining a advancing pier prolongation on a outboard pier of a Tranquility procedure were disconnected.

Over a weekend, moody controllers during a Johnson Space Center used a station’s drudge arm to pierce a extension, famous as pressurized mating adapter No. 3, or PMA-3, from Tranquility to a top pier of Harmony. A advancing resource will be trustworthy to a outboard finish of a hovel late this year or early next.

During today’s spacewalk, Whitson bending adult heater cables and mislay a thermal cover from PMA-3 while Kimbrough commissioned an upgraded resource send box in a station’s energy truss.

Both spacewalkers afterwards worked to implement 4 protecting shields over Tranquility’s outboard pier where PMA-3 had been attached. It was during that work that Kimbrough beheld one of a folded panels had escaped.

The spacewalkers afterwards retrieved a thermal defense Whitson had private from PMA-3 progressing and used cables and clamps to reason it in place over a Tranquility port, stuffing in a opening left by a mislaid panel.

Once that work was done, a astronauts returned to PMA-3 and commissioned a opposite set of shields around a bottom of a prolongation where it connects with Harmony’s top port.

Whitson and Pesquet are strictly scheduled to lift out another spacewalk Apr 6, though indispensable apparatus is available launch aboard an Orbital ATK Cygnus load boat that has been grounded by work to correct hydraulic lines in a freighter’s Atlas 5 rocket.

In a meantime, Kimbrough, Soyuz MS-02 commander Sergey Ryzhikov and moody operative Andrey Borisenko are scheduled to lapse to Earth on Apr 10, alighting on a steppe of Kazakhstan to tighten out a 173-day mission. The subsequent spacewalk is not approaching until after dual uninformed organisation members — Soyuz MS-04 commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and moody operative Jack Fischer — arrive on Apr 20.

But whenever a subsequent spacewalk takes place, Whitson is approaching to pierce adult to No. 3 on a list of world’s many gifted spacewalkers with a sum time of about 59 hours over 9 EVAs. Only cosmonaut Anatoly Solovyev and former wanderer Mike Lopez-Alegria have some-more time outside, with 68 and 67 hours of EVA time respectively.

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