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Friday, February 3, 2023

NASA Spacewalks outside the International Space Station after a Seven-month Break

The first of three planned spacewalks are scheduled to start around mid-November

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Russell Chattaraj
Russell Chattaraj
Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

UNITED STATES: NASA has given the go-ahead to restart spacewalks more than six months after an event abruptly halted the activity outside the flying laboratory. In the middle of November, astronauts will return from their seven-month hiatus and step outside the airlock and into space.

The Space Station’s spacewalks were discontinued in March after a tiny coating of moisture was found inside the helmet of European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Matthias Maurer following a nearly seven-hour spacewalk. During the spacewalk, the astronauts were getting ready to install a new solar array outside the microgravity laboratory.

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The first of three planned spacewalks are scheduled to start around mid-November to continue the work to install roll-out solar arrays, according to NASA, who added that the go-ahead was given after the conclusion of an investigation into the cause of the event. The purpose of these solar panels is to increase the flying lab’s power capacity.

“The space station crew hastily removed Maurer’s helmet during the successful spacewalk before working with the ground support staff at the Johnson Space Center in Houston to collect data. The group referred to the incident as a close call and immediately put a stop to all upcoming US Operating Segment spacewalks while it investigated what went wrong,” NASA noted in a blog update.

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The SpaceX Crew-3 mission and Soyuz 65S were then used to return water samples and suit hardware to Earth. As a part of the organization’s SpaceX CRS-25 mission, the spacesuit itself was returned for in-depth investigation.

Engineers performed a thorough investigation of the water samples, suit gear, and breakdown to evaluate the causes of the observed moisture, which was more than usual, in the helmet.

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Even though no hardware malfunctions were discovered, NASA says that the reason for the moisture buildup in the helmet was probably caused by the performance of an integrated system in which several factors, including crew exertion and crew cooling settings, resulted in the generation of relative above-average amounts of condensation within the system.

In an update, Kathryn Lueders, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate, said, “Crew safety is NASA’s and our foreign partners’ top priority.”

“I’m proud of the effort the space station and ground personnel do to protect our crew members, for taking the time to wrap up the inquiry, and for consistently looking for methods to decrease risks in human spaceflight,” she continued further.

Also Read: NASA Scheduled the Crew-5 Mission for October 3

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  • Russell Chattaraj

    Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

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