Michigan Students to Speak with NASA Astronauts on Space Station

06 October, 2017, 00:25 | Author: Becky Perry
  • Space Station Astronauts Are Taking a Spacewalk Today Watch It Live

The first six-hour walk unfolded Thursday morning with Commander Randy Bresnik and Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei, the space agency said.

Bresnik and Vande Hei will do the second spacewalk on October 10th to ease the new LEE on Canadarm2, and then replace a camera onto the outside of the station.

The astronauts will be working on a newly replaced robotic arm called "Canadarm2" and will be replacing cameras outside the station's U.S. Destiny laboratory.

"The major objective of this first spacewalk is to swap out the degraded Latching End Effector on the Canadarm2 with an identical unit that's now located on the mobile transporter" outside the space station, Judd Frieling, NASA's spacewalk flight director, said at a news conference Monday (Oct. 2).

A few moments later, Vande Hei, making his first spacewalk, made his way outside.

The Canadian-built arm has been in orbit for 16 years. To tell the two apart during the webcast, look for the red stripes on Bresnik's suit. The LEEs feature internal snares that rotate and tighten to lock onto grapple fixtures while latches engage to supply power, data and additional rigidity.

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The spacewalk will be the first out of their three planned for October that having the aim to get the Canadian robotic arm in good shape for doing effective work outside the ISS. Canadarm2 is anchored to the MBS and can be moved along the base's truss by the LEEs.

"Since these components are well beyond their design life, this really is expected wear and tear on the arm", Braithwaite said. It hasn't caused any slowdown in standard ISS operations, and the crew keeps a spare LEE around in case of just such an emergency.

Bresnik will lead all three of the scheduled spacewalks.

The next two spacewalks, on October 10 and October 18, will focus on lubricating the joints in the new LEE using a device called a ballscrew lubrication tool, or BLT.

The problem did not impact ISS operations, but the arm's hand, or Latching End Effector (LEE), needs fix.

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