Astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Japanese crewmate Norishige Kanai floated outside the International Space Station Friday, repositioned two robot arm grapple mechanisms following repair work last month and carried out a variety of “get-ahead” tasks before calling it a day.
A corrective software patch has fixed a problem with a newly installed grapple fixture on one end of the International Space Station robot arm, NASA officials said Sunday. With the mechanism now fully operational, a re-planned spacewalk Monday to re-install a degraded unit has been called off.
The grapple mechanism installed on one end of the space station’s robot arm during a spacewalk Tuesday is experiencing problems. It will be removed during a re-planned spacewalk Monday and the original fitting will be re-installed, NASA said Friday.
Two astronauts floated outside the International Space Station early Tuesday and replaced one of the grapple fixtures on the end of the lab’s robot arm, the first of two excursions over the next week to complete a complex overhaul that began with a pair of spacewalks last October.
A nanosatellite built in Scotland for Kepler Communications, a Toronto company planning a 140-satellite global data relay network, rode to orbit Friday with five Chinese satellites launched aboard a solid-fueled Long March 11 booster from the Gobi Desert.
Russian officials could complete their investigation of a rocket failure Tuesday by mid-December, and multiple Russian news reports suggest the probe has narrowed to focus on the guidance computer on the Soyuz launcher’s Fregat upper stage.
A new Russian weather observatory and the first prototype for Telesat’s planned network of 100-plus broadband communications satellites in low Earth orbit were among 19 spacecraft feared lost after a Fregat rocket stage ran into trouble soon after liftoff aboard a Soyuz booster Tuesday.
A Soyuz rocket is scheduled to lift off Tuesday from a launch pad in Russia’s Far East with a new Russian weather satellite and 18 secondary payloads from companies and institutions in the United States, Canada, Japan, Norway, Sweden and Germany.
Two astronauts ventured outside the International Space Station early Thursday and performed what amounted to hand transplant surgery on the lab’s Canadian-built robot arm, removing a crippled grapple fixture on one end of the space crane and replacing it with an on-board spare.
Astronauts Randy Bresnik and Mark Vande Hei headed outside the International Space Station Thursday on a spacewalk to replace one end of the lab’s Canadian-built robotic arm, a changeout that engineers say will restore the device to full capability.