Saturday, 18 January, 2020

NASA orders up urgent spacewalking repairs at space station

NASA astronauts Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson are outfitted in their U.S. spacesuits inside the U.S. Quest airlock before a May 12 outing NASA astronauts Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson are outfitted in their U.S. spacesuits inside the U.S. Quest airlock before a May 12 outing
Debra Rodriguez | 24 May, 2017, 04:47

Today's spacewalk will last for a duration of two-and-a-half-hour.

Two astronauts will conduct a contingency spacewalk this morning to carry out maintenance work on the International Space Station (ISS). Kimbrough later returned to Earth.

Whitson headed to the center backbone of the station's exterior framework where the failed computer is located.

The space station also is home to two Russians.

The current ISS crew consists of three people, namely Russia's Fyodor Yurchikhin and U.S. astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer.

Six months into a 9 1/2-month mission, Whitson already holds multiple space records, including most accumulated time in space by an American and most spacewalks by a woman. Fischer said looking down on the Earth 250 miles below.

He had no problems installing the wireless antennas while Whitson removed the failed MDM. At the end, they made a decision to replace the malfunctioning box with a spare.

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Whitson is wearing the suit with red stripes as extravehicular crew member 1 (EV 1).

Three days earlier a critical relay box had suddenly stopped working.

On Sunday, Whitson spent her day assembling the new MDM, measuring 10.5 x 14.9 x 16.4 inches and this is the unit that will be installed by astronauts on Tuesday. "It's up and running and in good shape". It is the sixth one from the Quest airlock in 2017.

According to NASA, the cause of this failure is not known yet. She reported the spare MDM was ready to be brought outside to replace the failed unit. What might have gone wrong inside the box is not yet known.

A NASA image shows the International Space Station as it flew over Madagascar. Currently, the ISS is using the backup system due to the technical glitch. The tier 1 MDMs are double-fault tolerant, meaning the station can operate with two failures.

"The MDM controls the functionality of station components such as the solar arrays, radiators, cooling loops and other systems", NASA said.

Station managers are go for Tuesday spacewalk with @AstroPeggy & @Astro2fish to change out failed data relay box. The MDM was reportedly a redundant system, while the other relay box is functioning normally, providing constant telemetry routing to the ISS's systems as per usual routine.

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