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Spacewalking Astronauts Tackle ‘High-Flying Plumbing’ Job on Space Station

Lindgren and Scott Kelly Conclude Spacewalk


Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren lapse to a Quest airlock after over 7 hours outward a International Space Station Nov. 6.
Credit: NASA TV

Two American astronauts took a marathon spacewalk on Friday, spending scarcely 8 hours outward a International Space Station on a truly out-of-this-world plumbing job.

NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindrgren spent 7 hours and 48 mins operative outward a hire to perform a critical upkeep on their spacecraft. It was their second spacewalk in 9 days.

The duo’s first-ever spacewalk last week, ordered by Kelly, had a dual on apart outlines as they achieved a accumulation of long-term upkeep tasks outward a station. This time around, ordered by Lindgren, they worked together, synchronizing their actions to reconfigure and supplement ammonia to a port-side hire cooling systems — “high-flying plumbing,” as NASA officials called it via Twitter.

This outlines a 190th spacewalk outward a station, and a sum of some-more than 1,192 hours of spacewalking time.

Spacewalkers Removing Thermal Cover

After aearly start, a astronauts initial private a thermal cover from partial of a outmost ammonia hire before bursting adult to coordinate a separation of a cooling systems, any from a opposite location.

The astronauts’ ultimate goal was to remove work from a 2012 spacewalk with astronauts Suni Williams and Akihiko Hoshide, where they rerouted ammonia divided from a primary port-side cooling system’s radiator to a backup complement to try to stop an ammonia leak. The source of a trickle was after identified as a inadequate cooling pump, that astronauts Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn transposed in 2013 during a last-minute spacewalk with only dual days of planning.

Astronauts have to be generally clever during operations involving ammonia since a piece is toxic to humans— any additional on spacesuits contingency be evaporated off before a goal ends. Lindgren beheld a few ammonia flakes while isolating a primary cooling complement from a backup one, so nearby a finish of a mission, they delicately legalised any other for any traces of a poisonous substance. 

Once a dual systems were removed and additional ammonia was privileged from a fill line, NASA belligerent control remotely non-stop a valve to start commanding off a backup system’s supply of ammonia — a routine that was set to take about 20 minutes. Kelly was prepared to manually tighten a valve and cut off a upsurge if they speckled any ammonia leaking out.

After that, they were means to tip off a primary one, and belligerent control’s cooling complement officer reported a ideal fill on both.

The backup complement binds about 90 lbs. (41 kilograms) of ammonia coolant, and about 6.8 lbs. (3 kg) were added, since a primary complement binds about 54 lbs. (24 kg) and was surfaced off with 7.5 lbs. (3.4 kg), NASA officials pronounced in a online webcast.

Meanwhile, Kelly struggled with some handle ties as he configured an apparatus transport (“Somebody did a unequivocally good pursuit on this handle tie here — like for all eternity,” he quipped), and Lindgren retracted a backup radiator to a out-of-use position opposite a side of a space station.

They put divided a cables, and Kelly investigated a strut joining dual collection of a space station’s pier side that had been moving and might have loosened — a reward task. Then, they came together for a final partial of a mission: to opening leftover ammonia from a plumbing lines used during a reconfiguring process. Excess ammonia would be left in a bag outward a station.

Lindgren helped Kelly interpretation his restraints when they met up. “Lookin’ good,” he said.

“I’ll buy we cooking behind on Earth,” Kelly said.

“You do all my work — we owe we dinner,” Lindgren responded.

The twin weren’t means to lapse and string a backup radiator in place opposite a side of a space hire and supplement a protecting shroud, so they had to re-extend and close it to a full 44-foot (13 meters) length, even yet it will not be used. NASA engineers pronounced a radiator would not be during risk by staying outstretched.

Then, it was time for cleanup, holding register of their collection and streamer in. On a way, Kelly set adult a opening doorway to a ammonia fountainhead so it could opening out additional ammonia if it were ever overpressurized.

Spacewalkers Kjell Lindgren and Scott Kelly

Over a march of their work, a astronauts remained outward in object prolonged adequate for any wandering ammonia to evaporate, so they did not need any tests in a airlock or to stay outward longer for an additional “bake-out.” Japanese wanderer Kimiya Yui and Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov helped them out of their suits once a astronauts repressurized.

Now, Lindgren and Kelly have a half-day mangle to redeem before removing behind to work. Lindgren is impending a finish of his initial goal on a space station, and Kelly is 224 days into his one-year mission.

Email Sarah Lewin during [email protected] or follow her @SarahExplains. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original essay on Space.com.

Article source: http://www.space.com/31053-spacewalking-astronauts-space-station-plumbing-job.html

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