NASA moves up 1st all-female spacewalk to fix power unit




  • In US
  • 2019-10-15 17:27:38Z
  • By Associated Press
All Female Spacewalk
All Female Spacewalk  

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - NASA is moving up the first all-female spacewalk to this week because of a power system failure at the International Space Station.

Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir will now venture out Thursday or Friday, instead of next Monday, to deal with the problem. It will be the first spacewalk by only women in more than a half-century of spacewalking.

A critical battery power controller failed over the weekend, prompting the change, NASA officials said Monday. The women will replace the broken component, rather than install new batteries, which was their original job.

Last week, astronauts conducted two spacewalks to replace old batteries that make up the station's solar power network. They have three more spacewalks to go to finish the battery work. The next one was supposed to be Wednesday, but it's off for now.

Each of the new lithium-ion batteries needs a device to regulate the amount of charge going in and out. One of these charge regulators did not kick in Friday night, preventing one of the three newly installed batteries from working. Replacing one of these regulators is a generic job for which all potential spacewalkers train, officials said.

The orbiting lab and its six occupants remain safe, according to NASA, and science operations are unaffected.

NASA originally planned an all-female spacewalk last spring, but had to cancel it because of a shortage of readily available medium-size suits. Koch helped assemble an extra medium suit over the summer.

"Very good that we have 4 expert spacewalkers on board to shoulder this tough task. They are the A-team!" tweeted astronaut Anne McClain, who would have gone spacewalking with Koch in March if not for the suit-sizing issue.

Since the first spacewalk in 1965, there have been 227 spacewalkers, only 14 of them women. Meir will be making her first spacewalk and become No. 15. All but one of these women has been American.

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Fact check: No, NASA did not find a parallel universe
Fact check: No, NASA did not find a parallel universe

The internet was briefly captivated after reports circulated that NASA had detected "evidence of parallel universe where time runs backward."

Elon Musk told NASA astronauts
Elon Musk told NASA astronauts' kids ahead of the SpaceX launch, 'We've done everything we can to make sure your dads come back OK'

NASA has estimated a 1-in-276 chance that the astronauts on the SpaceX rocket could die during the company's first crewed mission.

How to watch the SpaceX Crew Dragon launch of NASA astronauts today
How to watch the SpaceX Crew Dragon launch of NASA astronauts today

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be the first humans to launch on a commercial spacecraft: How to stream the historic SpaceX launch.

Watch the countdown to SpaceX
Watch the countdown to SpaceX's historic launch of NASA's first Dragon riders

Nearly nine years after the last space shuttle flew, NASA and SpaceX are counting down to the next launch to put astronauts into orbit from Florida. The launch of SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will mark the first-ever use of a privately owned spaceship for a crewed orbital launch, and a renaissance for U.S. spaceflight. "We are once again launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil, and this is a big moment in time," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said during a launch-eve briefing. NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are due to… Read More

'We are go': NASA astronauts Behnken, Hurley set to make history on SpaceX Crew Dragon

Expected at the SpaceX launch are President Trump, Vice President Pence, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, current and former astronauts and countless other VIPs.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US