Science

#Spacewalking astronauts prep station for new solar wings

#Spacewalking astronauts prep station for new solar wings

Spacewalking astronauts prep station for new solar wings
In this image taken from NASA video, NASA astronauts Kate Rubins, top, and Victor Glover work outside the International Space Station Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. The spacewalking astronauts ventured out Sunday to install support frames for new, high-efficiency solar panels arriving at the International Space Station later this year. (NASA via AP)

Spacewalking astronauts ventured out Sunday to install support frames for new, high-efficiency solar panels arriving at the International Space Station later this year.


NASA’s Kate Rubins and Victor Glover put the mounting brackets and struts together, then bolted them into place next to the station’s oldest and most degraded solar wings.

They had to lug out the hundreds of pounds of mounting brackets and struts in 8-foot (2.5-meter) duffle-style bags. The equipment was so big and awkward that it had to be taken apart like furniture, just to get through the hatch.

Some of the attachment locations required extra turns of the power drill and still weren’t snug enough, as indicated by black lines. The astronauts had to use a ratchet wrench to deal with the more stubborn bolts, which slowed them down. At one point, they were almost an hour behind.

  #Making biodiesel with green solvents

“Whoever painted this black line painted outside the lines a little bit,” Glover said at one particularly troublesome spot.

“We’ll work on our kindergarten skills over here,” Mission Control replied, urging him to move on.

With more people and experiments flying on the space station, more power will be needed to keep everything running, according to NASA. The six new solar panels—to be delivered in pairs by SpaceX over the coming year or so—should boost the station’s electrical capability by as much as 30%.

Rubins and Glover worked on the struts for the first two solar panels, due to launch in June.

  #'Among Us' is adding a new Airship map on March 31—and it's free

The eight solar panels up there now are 12 to 20 years old—most of them past their design lifetime and deteriorating. Each panel is 112 feet (34 meters) long by 39 feet (12 meters) wide. Tip to tip counting the center framework, each pair stretches 240 feet (73 meters), longer than a Boeing 777′s wingspan.

Boeing is supplying the new roll-up panels, about half the size of the old ones but just as powerful thanks to the latest solar cell technology. They’ll be placed at an angle above the old ones, which will continue to operate.

A prototype was tested at the space station in 2017.

  #Glacier town at risk in next great New Zealand earthquake

Rubins’ helmet featured a new high-definition camera that provided stunning views, particularly those showing the vivid blue Earth 270 miles (435 kilometers) below. “Pretty fantastic,” observed Mission Control.

Sunday’s spacewalk was the third for infectious disease specialist Rubins and Navy pilot Glover—both of whom could end up flying to the moon.

They’re among 18 astronauts newly assigned to NASA’s Artemis moon-landing program. The next moonwalkers will come from this group.

Last week, Vice President Kamala Harris put in a congratulatory call to Glover, the first African American astronaut to live full time at the space station. NASA released the video exchange Saturday.

“The history making that you are doing, we are so proud of you,” Harris said. Like other firsts, Glover replied, it won’t be the last. “We want to make sure that we can continue to do new things,” he said.

  #Debate needed on the potential culling of crows and foxes to protect Europe's declining ground-nesting birds

Rubins will float back out Friday with Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi to wrap up the solar panel prep work, and to vent and relocate ammonia coolant hoses.

Glover and Noguchi were among four astronauts arriving via SpaceX in November. Rubins launched from Kazakhstan in October alongside two Russians. They’re all scheduled to return to Earth this spring.


Spacewalkers complete 4 years of power upgrades for station (Update)


© 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Citation:
Spacewalking astronauts prep station for new solar wings (2021, February 28)
retrieved 28 February 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-02-spacewalking-astronauts-prep-station-solar.html

  #State-level R&D tax credits spur growth of new businesses: study

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

If you liked the article, do not forget to share it with your friends. Follow us on Google News too, click on the star and choose us from your favorites.

For forums sites go to Forum.BuradaBiliyorum.Com

If you want to read more Like this articles, you can visit our Science category.

Source

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

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

Back to top button