Saturday, 16 December, 2017

Aging robot arm gets spacewalk surgery

Space Station Astronauts Are Taking a Spacewalk Today Watch It Live Michigan Students to Speak with NASA Astronauts on Space Station
Jeanne Townsend | 06 October, 2017, 00:24

Astronauts Randy Bresnik and Mark Vande Hei will be performing a spacewalk outside the International Space Station.

Bresnik and Vande Hei will venture back outside October 10 while Joe Acaba will join the station commander for the October 18 excursion.

On the second and third spacewalks, astronauts will lubricate the new effector and replace several cameras.

Canadarm2 riding the Mobile Base System along the Mobile Transporter railway, running the length of the station's main truss.

Canadarm2, the Canadian robotic arm is one of the essential tools on the ISS. For the third spacewalk, Acaba will join Bresnik instead.

The Canadian-built arm has been in orbit for 16 years.

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One LEE typically is used to anchor the arm at various attachment points on the lab complex while the LEE at the other end is used to lock onto and move visiting spacecraft or other large components. As extravehicular crewmember 1 (EV 1), Bresnik gets to wear the suit with red stripes on it, while Vande Hei (EV 2) will wear a plain white suit.

This will be the first in the series of three spacewalks scheduled for the month of October, with Bresnik taking the lead in all three.

The station has a spare LEE stored outside the ISS, which the astronauts retrieved to make the fix.

The three spacewalks have been scheduled with the objective of tinkering around the ISS.

In the near term, two more spacewalks are planned October 10 and 18 to lubricate the newly attached LEE-A fitting, to replace two cameras with degraded color and to carry out other routine maintenance.

When the spacewalk begins, Nespoli will head to the robotic workstation, where he will be able to remotely operate Canadarm2 and help the two spacewalkers reach the LEE at the end of the arm.

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