A peak into NASA’s Mission Management in Houston: what appears to be like like a espresso break is definitely ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen (centre) arduous at work, guiding NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover through radio throughout final week’s spacewalk.
Spacewalkers are in fixed contact with only one particular person throughout a spacewalk. This ‘floor IV’ is a fellow astronaut who’s skilled with each process of a specific spacewalk.
In preparation to information Mike and Victor by this spacewalk, Andreas beforehand performed practice runs of the European Columbus KA-band antenna ColKa’s set up on the Impartial Buoyancy Lab – a pool sporting life-sized mock-ups of the Worldwide Area Station.
The spacewalk began properly. The fridge-sized unit was transported by Victor from the airlock to the worksite on the Canadarm2 robotic arm. There, the spacewalking duo set to work unscrewing and screwing bolts to carry the antenna in place and routing cables for energy and knowledge. Nevertheless, regardless of seemingly safe connections, the warmers didn’t activate as anticipated.
Serving because the interface between the European floor crews and the astronauts, Andreas relayed the scenario in area and the answer from floor: take away and jettison the duvet. With ColKa’s momentary protecting cowl safely solid away to fritter away in Earth’s ambiance, the temperature dropped and ColKa’s heaters activated. Everybody breathed a sigh of aid as they reported the antenna safely put in.
As soon as totally operational, ColKa will create an extra bi-directional KA-band knowledge transmission for the Area Station, offering a direct hyperlink between the Columbus laboratory and Europe, for researchers and astronauts, at house broadband speeds.
Groups at Columbus Management Centre will probably be finishing up assessments this month to make sure it’s totally operational. As soon as all is up and working, ColKa will use the use the European Knowledge Relay System (EDRS) – dubbed the ‘SpaceDataHighway’ – to relay knowledge straight between the Station and European soil through the system’s floor station in Harwell, UK.
ColKa was not the one European facility retaining astronauts busy on Wednesday. Mike and Victor had been additionally tasked with connecting energy and knowledge cables for exterior industrial analysis platform Bartolomeo.
On this case, the spacewalkers weren’t capable of join all of the required energy cables between the platform and Columbus. This process will probably be tackled in a future spacewalk.
Learn extra particulars in regards to the spacewalk on this blog post.