Station spacewalk underway to put in new cameras – Spaceflight Now

Two astronauts floated exterior the International Space Station Thursday to put in two new cameras on the entrance of the lab advanced that may present views of economic crew ships throughout ultimate strategy and docking. The spacewalkers additionally deliberate to exchange a defective high-definition digicam and shut a door that’s jammed open on an exterior instrument.

Floating within the Quest airlock, Expedition 56 commander Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold switched their spacesuits to battery energy at eight:06 a.m. EDT (GMT-Four), formally kicking off a deliberate six-and-a-half-hour tour.

This is the 211th spacewalk dedicated to station meeting and upkeep since development started in 1998, the sixth to this point this yr, the ninth for Feustel and the fifth for Arnold. Both males carried out two earlier spacewalks collectively in March and May.

For identification, Arnold, name signal EV-1, is carrying a swimsuit with crimson stripes and is utilizing helmet digicam No. 18. Feustel, EV-2, is carrying an unmarked swimsuit and is utilizing helmetcam 17.

The main purpose of U.S. EVA-51 is set up of two new cameras on the entrance of the ahead Tranquility module that may present views of Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX crewed Dragon spacecraft throughout ultimate strategy to a brand new docking mechanism mounted on the port the place area shuttles as soon as connected.

The new crew ferry ships are supposed to finish NASA’s sole reliance on Russian Soyuz spacecraft to hold U.S., European, Japanese and Canadian astronauts to the outpost, restoring American area transportation functionality that was misplaced when the shuttle program led to 2011.

Development of the brand new crew ships is not on time and it’s not but clear when the primary unpiloted check flights might be potential, however NASA hopes to start operational crew ferry missions as quickly as potential subsequent yr.

The digicam work required Arnold and Feustel to route energy and ethernet cables from panels on the Destiny lab module to the entrance of the station the place two camera-boom assemblies might be put in.

“We’re taking a power cable and an ethernet cable, we hook them up outside space station and we route them out to the forward end of the space station,” mentioned Keith Johnson, a spacewalk planner on the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

“These cameras are going to be used to view the forward end of the space station for commercial crew docking, but they also form part of an external wireless communications (network).”

After competing digicam set up work, Arnold deliberate to climb onto the station’s robotic arm for work to exchange a high-definition digicam meeting on the proper aspect of the advanced that isn’t working correctly. Feustel, in the meantime, deliberate to enterprise to the far left aspect of the station to work on a payload mounted exterior the Japanese Kibo laboratory module.

The Cloud-Aerosol Transport System, or CATS, instrument was designed to review the environment utilizing a laser firing via a big aperture door. The instrument failed earlier, leaving the door open, and Feustel deliberate to shut and latch it down so the instrument will match aboard a SpaceX cargo ship later for disposal.

The flight plan included a number of lower-priority “get-ahead” objects that might be carried out if Arnold and Feustel managed to complete their main duties forward of schedule.

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