Spacewalking astronauts carried out a high-flying, state-of-the-art variation of musical chairs Wednesday, reorganizing pumps outside the International Spaceport Station.
Popping out early, NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold rapidly switched the positions of two extra ammonia pumps that are part of the spaceport station’s important cooling system.
One pump got too cold because of a power shutdown 17 years earlier and is called Frosty; flight controllers prepare to evaluate it in the coming days to see if it still works. The other, a failed unit dubbed Leaky, spewed out ammonia five years ago.
Frosty took Leaky’s area on a robot-arm mechanism, while Leaky was relocated to a long-lasting storage platform.
Ammonia coolant is poisonous, and Mission Control consistently cautioned the spacewalkers to be cautious of any leaks.
The Earth passes below spacewalker <a href=”https://twitter.com/astro_ricky?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@Astro_Ricky</a> while he is attached to the tip of CSA_ASC’s <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Canadarm2?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Canadarm2</a> robotic arm in the middle of swapping television camera gear. <a href=”https://t.co/yuOTrZ4Jut”>https://t.co/yuOTrZ4Jut</a> <a href=”https://t.co/gLrD201stg”>pic.twitter.com/gLrD201stg</a>
A brand name new extra pump arrived at the space station last month. This fresh pump is named Motley given that it’s consisted of a variety of spare parts.
” We’ve been doing a lots of work to play musical chairs with all these (pumps) so we can have good readily available spares,” flight controller Alex Apyan stated from Houston during the spacewalk.
Each 107-kilogram (235-pound) pump, the size of a flat box, is about 91 cm by 76 cm by 46 cm.
Feustel and Arnold also set up a new cam and communication device, and even accomplished some extra chores.
” Nice work,” Mission Control said as the 6 1/2- hour spacewalk came to a close. “All right, people, we are prepared for you all to begin heading house.”
The spacewalkers chuckled and shared jokes as they floated back within. “Anyone home? Technique or deal with!” among them jokingly called out.
Meanwhile, the station’s six-man crew is expecting a delivery. Orbital ATK prepares to introduce a supply ship Sunday from Wallops Island, Virginia. Weather allowing, the pre-dawn flight of the Antares rocket must show up along the East Coast from New England to South Carolina.
Feustel and Arnold went spacewalking at the end of March, shortly after reaching the 400-kilometre (250-mile) high laboratory. They have another spacewalk lined up for next month.
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