NASA astronauts are taking a spacewalk to rearrange area station plumbing and deal with different odd jobs

By MARCIA DUNN AP Aerospace Author

March 13, 2021, 1:31 PM

• 2 min learn

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A pair of NASA astronauts floated out on a spacewalk Saturday to rearrange area station plumbing, cautious to keep away from poisonous ammonia coolant nonetheless lingering within the strains.

The hose work ought to have been accomplished throughout a spacewalk outdoors the Worldwide House Station every week in the past, however was delay when energy upgrades took longer than anticipated.

Wanting to get the station enhancements achieved earlier than the astronauts head house this spring, Mission Management ordered up the bonus spacewalk for Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins. They teamed up for back-to-back spacewalks 1 half months in the past and had been joyful to chalk up one other.

“You guys have enjoyable on the market and be secure,” Mission Management radioed because the spacewalk lastly received underway, nearly an hour late.

Earlier than going out, the astronauts needed to exchange the communication caps beneath their helmets so as to hear correctly. “I’ve received you loud and clear,” Hopkins stated as soon as the brand new cap was on his head.

Glover and Hopkins — who launched final November on SpaceX — needed to vent a pair of ammonia jumper cables that had been added years in the past following a leak within the area station’s exterior cooling system.

NASA cautioned the astronauts to make use of “additional vigilance” to forestall ammonia from getting on their spacesuits and monitoring it again inside. The spacewalkers had lengthy instruments to vent the hoses and had been suggested to remain away from the nozzles.

Glover and Hopkins needed to transfer one of many hoses to a extra central location close to the NASA hatch, in case it is wanted on the other finish of the station.

Saturday’s different odd jobs included: changing an antenna for helmet cameras, rerouting ethernet cables, tightening connections on a European experiment platform, and putting in a steel ring on the hatch thermal cowl.

It was the fifth spacewalk — and, barring an emergency, the final — for this U.S.-Russian-Japanese crew of seven.

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