NASA astronauts postpone spacewalks due to debris hazards

NASA postponed a spacewalk originally scheduled for Tuesday after receiving a warning about space debris from the International Space Station.

The agency said that only hours before astronauts are scheduled to leave the International Space Station His Twitter account That “because there was no opportunity to properly assess the risks,” I have decided to postpone the spacewalk on November 30 until more information is available.
“After receiving additional information about a debris notification event on Monday, NASA has determined that the debris orbit does not pose a risk to spacewalks scheduled by Thomas Marshburn and Kayla Barron or to International Space Station operations.” Posted on her website. “The delay in the spacewalk has provided an opportunity for NASA to assess the risks from the debris notification.”

Marshburn and Barron began their spacewalk at 6:15 a.m. ET, and the spacewalk is expected to last about six and a half hours. The team will replace a faulty communications antenna.

Live coverage of the spacewalk will be broadcast on NASA and Agency TV website.

The astronauts will replace the S-band antenna sub-assembly with a spare part already installed outside the space station. S-band radio frequencies are used to transmit low-priced voice and data from the space station more than 220 miles (354 kilometers) across to flight controllers on Earth, according to NASA.

After operating for 21 years, the antenna recently stopped sending signals to Earth using NASA’s tracking and data relay system via satellites. Mission managers discovered the problem in September, said Vincent Lacourt, NASA’s spacewalk flight manager.

“This timing allowed us to get Tom and Kayla into our neutral buoyancy lab, or the large swimming pool where we practice spacewalking, and to practice precision spacewalking,” Lacourt said.

No spacewalk is complete without a heavenly soundtrack of space-themed songs.  welcome

In general, the loss of this antenna has little effect on the operations of the space station. However, maintaining antennas like this allows for redundant connections. The installation of spare parts located outside the station since 2010, will allow this system of backups to continue. The station contains other low-rate S-band and high-rate KU-band systems that transmit video clips back and forth.

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During the spacewalk, Marshburn will be at the end of the Canadarm2 robotic arm, which will be controlled by European astronaut Matthias Maurer from inside the space station.

Marshburn will wear the red striped spacesuit as EV 1 crew member, and Barron will wear the unmarked spacesuit as EVE 2 crew member. This is Barron’s first spaceflight, and is Marshburn’s fifth.

Marshburn, Baron and Maurer arrive at the space station with NASA astronaut Raja Chari in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule on November 11.

Tuesday’s spacewalk is the 245th taken to assemble, maintain and upgrade the space station, which has served as a continuous pivot around humans’ low-Earth for 21 years.

debris fears

The US Space Command said Russia has tested a direct-aspect satellite anti-satellite missile, or DA-ASAT, that struck a Russian satellite and created a debris field in low Earth orbit containing 1,700 pieces of trackable orbital debris that also potentially generated hundreds of thousands. Pieces of smaller orbital debris. It would take months to sort out all the new debris from the test.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement that he was “outraged by this irresponsible and destabilizing act. With its long and written history in human spaceflight, it is inconceivable that Russia would endanger not only American and international cosmonauts on the International Space Station, but also their cosmonauts.” Their actions are reckless and dangerous, as they threaten the Chinese space station.”

The United States says it's  will not tolerate & # 39;  Russia & # 39;  s & # 39;  reckless and dangerous & # 39;  Anti-satellite missile test

While the debris field was initially highly concentrated, it has dispersed over time, Dana Weigl, deputy program manager for NASA’s International Space Station, said Monday. The team planning the spacewalk has run models and predictions to understand the environment the astronauts will be in while they are in space.

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The risk to astronauts has increased by 7%, which is “not a huge increase and that’s well within what we see with normal fluctuations in the atmosphere and the normal amount of debris moving through it,” Weigel said. “What it really tells us is that EVA (extra-vehicular activity) has always been very risky.”

This risk relates to any debris potentially penetrating the spacesuits or the space station itself. The pieces that can penetrate spacesuits are much smaller than anything they can track, Weigel said.

“It does mean a hack, but it doesn’t mean it’s a catastrophic breakthrough,” Weigel said. “There’s a certain volume of penetration that can be supported. There’s an emergency oxygen beam on the suit which would feed it for a while. When we talk about EVA risk, it’s generally about 1 in 2,700, so that’s a risk of having some volume to penetrate through the cycle over a six-year period. Hours and a half of EVA.”

Space junk is a big problem.  Russia's anti-satellite missile test has exacerbated the situation

Space junk is a big problem. Russia’s testing of anti-satellite missiles has only made matters worse, though Weigel said some previous spacewalks have had higher risks than these.

“Unfortunately, when you have a debris event like this and a lot of really small pieces get scattered, they become part of the normal environment,” Weigel said. “At some point, there is no definite directional aspect to the debris. So there is nothing different than what they would do in a spacewalk.”

Lacourt said the event had reordered the task list for the spacewalk itself and had also removed some “start-up” tasks, including routing cables and firing bolts on a spare nitrogen tank. However, if there is time, astronauts will tend to some things that can reduce the need for future spacewalks.

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In general, the team said they were conservative in their decisions because some were made two weeks ago, before all the assessment data was obtained from the new wreckage. Amid the increased risks and increased uncertainty due to the new wreckage, “we didn’t want to leave the crew outside for much longer for items we didn’t consider critical,” Weigel said.

Olga Dmitrieva

Любитель алкоголя. Возмутитель спокойствия. Интроверт. Студент. Любитель социальных сетей. Веб-ниндзя. Поклонник Бэкона. Читатель

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