The latest spacewalk carried out by ISS astronauts has been hailed as a great success. It set a new record as Peggy Whitson, a NASA flight engineer conducted her eight spacewalk and surpassed the previous record number.
This latest spacewalk took place on March 30th and lasted some 7 hours. According to a NASA statement, one of its purposes was to reconnect electrical connections and cables. This operation targeted the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 or PMA-3. It will help provide the required pressurized interface between the ISS and a second of 2 international docking adapters. It will help support the docking of future U.S. commercial spacecraft.
The Latest Spacewalk Was Marked By Success, But Also A Slight Loss
Also, the astronaut duo had to install 4 thermal protection shields. These were placed on the ISS’s Tranquility module. Nonetheless, this mission part did not go as planned. The team lost one such shield according to reports and images on the NASA television. As it is, this was a 5-feet shield which, in the end, drifted away from the station.
However, the remaining shields were successfully installed. They were placed on the module’s common berthing mechanism port. The Earth-bound mission team had to devise a plan which, in its turn, helped the astronauts finish their mission.
This multilayered team is based at the NASA Johnson Center Mission Control Center in Houston. The team had to come together and solve the issue. This time around, they had to do it very fast. According to its blog post, the astronaut duo re-used a piece taken from the PMA-3 in order to replace the missing shield.
As it is, this helped the mission reach its target. This was to ensure thermal protection for the port. Also, this latter should also be better protected against orbital debris and micrometeoroid.
Image Source: Wikimedia