Spacewalking astronaut successfully replaces blurry camera outside International Space Station, copes with frayed tether, bad jetpack

22 October 2017, 12:02 AM
Astronaut successfully replaces blurry camera outside ISS
Astronaut successfully replaces blurry camera outside ISS

A spacewalking astronaut, Joe Acaba was successful in replacing a blurry camera outside the International Space Station on Friday. However, he had to be content with a frayed safety tether and a balky jetpack. Safety ties and jetpacks are considered to be crucial in order to save a flyaway astronaut.

NASA claimed that Joe Acaba was attached securely to the orbiting outpost and didn’t face any danger during the nearly seven-hour spacewalk. However, one of his tethers needed to be shortly replaced after he along with his station commander Randy Bresnik floated outside.

Bresnik even returned to the airlock in order to get Acaba a spare.Just as five hours passed into the spacewalk, Mission Control noticed that the right handle on Acaba’s emergency jetpack popped up.

Bresnik thus went to assist his crew and offered some tape to keep it down.Flight controllers consulted for some time in Houston before declaring the jetpack unreliable and asked Acaba to come inside.

Further, Bresnik even acknowledged that things occurred in an unplanned manner.US astronauts completed their third spacewalk in two weeks. Spacewalkers usually wears jetpacks for use in an emergency.

They are handy in case an astronaut’s multiple tethers fail and help a spacewalker to return to the station.Acaba had earlier provided the required focus to the space station’s robot arm. He unbolted a blurry camera from the new robotic hand installed two weeks ago. Moreover, he then popped in a spare, which flight controllers quickly tested from Houston. The replacement was able to provide clear views.

Orbital ATK, one of NASA's commercial shippers, is scheduled to launch a cargo ship from Virginia on Nov. 11. Acaba and the station's commander, Randy Bresnik, were supposed to go spacewalking earlier this week. However, NASA needed extra time to add the camera repair to their chores.

Friday's spacewalk — expected to be the last one for the year — also saw the astronauts installing a high-definition camera, replacing a fuse and removing thermal insulation from spare electronics.

Early in 2018, astronauts will replace the hand on the opposite side of the 58-foot robot arm, Canada's main contribution to the space station. The original latching mechanisms are showing wear and tear since the arm's launch in 2001.

The 250-mile-high complex is currently home to three Americans, two Russians and one Italian.

First Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 11:44 PM
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