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‘Into a blank of space’: Astronauts try out of ISS to reinstate Canadarm2 part

  • October 05, 2017

Spacewalking astronauts gave the International Space Station’s large drudge arm a new palm Thursday.

NASA Commander Randy Bresnik and Mark Vande Hei floated out around 8 a.m. ET and stayed out for scarcely 7 hours to reinstate one of dual Latching End Effectors (LEE) on a Canadarm2. It’s a initial of 3 NASA spacewalks designed over a subsequent dual weeks. 

The latching resource on one finish of a 17.7-metre Canadarm2 malfunctioned in August. It had to be transposed before a attainment of an Orbital ATK supply boat in November. 

Canadarm2 Earth

The Canadarm2, that is partial of a International Space Station’s Remote Manipulator System, is graphic with a Earth in a credentials during a daytime orbital pass on Apr 16, 2017. (NASA)

Hustling by their work, a spacewalkers unfastened a aged resource and soon commissioned a spare. Initial contrast by belligerent controllers indicated success.

“All right, gentlemen, we uncover a good arm,” Mission Control radioed.

“That is good news, Houston,” Bresnik said. “Much rejoicing.”

Canadarm2 in use for 16 years

Canadarm2 has dual identical LEEs that are used to squeeze visiting spacecraft, as good as provide information and telemetry to a rest of a Canadian-built Mobile Base System. This gold of latches — some-more than a metre prolonged — also attaches to fastener fixtures outward a space station. That way, a arm can pierce like an inchworm conflicting a sprawling structure. 

The Canadian-built arm has been in circuit for 16 years. The dual latching mechanisms, one on any finish of a arm, have been used scarcely 400 times, and engineers attribute a new difficulty to wear and tear. 


In this print from 2005, wanderer Stephen K. Robinson is seen anchored to a feet patience on a Canadarm2. (NASA)

The latching resource on a conflicting finish will be transposed early next year.

It was a initial spacewalk for Vande Hei, a rookie wanderer who arrived during a orbiting outpost a few weeks ago. 

“Congratulations, my friend, on apropos a 221st tellurian to exit in your possess personal booster into a blank of space,” said Bresnik, a maestro spacewalker. 

As a twin worked, they marvelled over a views of Earth below and a full moon above. They’ll try behind out on Tuesday to lubricate a new resource and do other chores.

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