ISS: American spacewalkers Cassada and Rubio landed outside the space station on Tuesday

ISS: American spacewalkers Cassada and Rubio landed outside the space station on Tuesday
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The first in a series of year-end spacewalks began outside the International Space Station on Tuesday morning.

First-time spacewalkers and NASA astronauts Josh Cassada and Frank Rubio began their trip outside the space station at 9:14 a.m. ET and ended at 4:25 p.m. ET, lasting 7 hours and 11 minutes.

Cassada wore the red-striped spacesuit as nonvehicle crew member 1, while Rubio wore an unmarked suit as nonvehicle crew member 2.

The astronauts mounted a mounting bracket on the starboard side of the space station’s beam against the backdrop of Earth’s spectacular view.

The hardware was delivered to the space station on November 9 by Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft, which delivered its cargo safely. although only one of the two solar panels activated after launch.

This hardware will allow the installation of more solar panels, called iROSA, to provide a power boost to the space station. The first two solar panels were installed outside the station in June 2021. A total of six iROSAs are planned and will likely increase the space station’s power output by more than 100. 30% when all are operational.

During After two spacewalks on November 28 and December 1, a team of two astronauts will open and install another pair of solar panels once the mounting hardware is in place. The solar panels will be delivered on the next SpaceX Dragon commercial resupply mission, currently scheduled to launch on November 21.

Spacewalks are part of the space station crew’s routine in which they maintain and upgrade the aging orbital lab, but Tuesday’s spacewalk was NASA’s first spacewalk since March. The agency’s spacewalks came to a halt after the European Space Agency astronaut. Matthias Maurer finishes his first spacewalk with water in his helmet.

Upon returning to the airlock after about seven hours of spacewalking, a thin layer of moisture in excess of the normal, expected amount was discovered on Maurer’s helmet. Maurer quickly removed his helmet and the water samples, suit hardware, and the space suit itself were returned to Earth for examination, in an event deemed “close call” by NASA. Officials at NASA determined that the suit did not experience any hardware malfunctions.

According to NASA, “Water in the helmet was likely due to integrated system performance, where various variables, such as crew work and crew cooling settings, caused relatively higher-than-normal condensation to form within the system.” blog post update.

“Based on the findings, the team updated operational procedures and developed new mitigation hardware to minimize scenarios where integrated performance causes water to pool while absorbing resulting water. These measures will help control any fluid in the helmet to continue to keep crews safe.”

Officials at NASA “continued” the spacewalks after completing the review in October.

International Space Station Program operations integration manager Dina Contella said the research team has developed techniques for managing temperatures in the suit and added new absorption bands to the helmet.

Thin orange pieces were placed in different parts of the helmet, which had previously been tried in orbit by astronauts inside the space station.

“We took several different versions of this, and the crew on board splashed water around, essentially trying to inject the same amount of water into the helmet, which would have been very bad. And we found these pads to be very, very effective,” Contella said.

Tuesday’s spacewalk allowed the team to test the new pads while working outside the space station before more complex solar panel setup spacewalks over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, a Russian spacewalk is scheduled for Thursday. Cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin will begin their walk at 9am ET to work outside the Nauka multipurpose lab module. The duo will prepare a radiator for transfer from the Rassvet module to Nauka during their seven-hour spacewalk, which will be streamed live on NASA’s website.

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