Inspenet, November 19, 2023.
Last week, NASA astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara concluded a spacewalk on the International Space Station (ISS) in which they completed one of two scheduled maintenance tasks. Unfortunately, a suitcase of tools was lost during the activity.
” During the activity, a tool suitcase was inadvertently lost ,” NASA reported, adding that flight controllers managed to detect it through the station’s external cameras.
The misplaced tools were not essential to the remainder of the spacewalk and the loss did not require additional action, as the mission control center evaluated the trajectory of the suitcase and determined that “the risk of further contact with the station is low and that the crew on board and the space station are safe.
The tool bag is anticipated to continue orbiting the Earth for several months, with a downward trajectory that will eventually take it to an altitude of about 113 km.
In the first spacewalk in which both astronauts participated, Moghbeli and O’Hara successfully replaced a rotating support on one of the ISS solar panels. This component is essential to keep the panel facing the Sun while the station completes its orbit around the Earth.
Additionally, during the task, the NASA astronauts removed a handle to prepare the area for the future installation of a deployable solar panel. Likewise, they made adjustments to a cable that previously interfered with an external camera, according to the Agency in a statement.
Notably, Moghbeli and O’Hara were unable to complete the other scheduled task, which involved removing a box called the Radio Frequency Group from a communications antenna on the space station. However, according to the US space agency, ” the duo lifted some layers of insulation to make a more precise assessment of how to approach the task ” in a future spacewalk.
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