Thursday, September 6, 2012

Spacewalking astronauts fix station's power system

Spacewalking astronauts fix station's power system | Reuters: "A pair of spacewalking astronauts cleaned, greased and finally coaxed a jammed bolt into position on Wednesday, restoring the International Space Station's power system.

The spacewalk by NASA astronaut Sunita Williams and Japan's Akihiko Hoshide was the second in a week to replace a key part of the station's power system.

The astronauts were able to remove the faulty 220-pound (100-kg) device, known as a main bus switching unit, during a spacewalk last Thursday, but were unable to bolt a replacement into position.

While engineers at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston mulled over repair options, Williams and Hoshide spent the weekend fashioning tools to clean the bolt and its receptacle of metal shavings and other debris believed to be causing the problem."