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News of the Nifty: Space Station Repair Crew - CaffieneKittySpace
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caffienekitty
caffienekitty
News of the Nifty: Space Station Repair Crew
I'm currently watching (while doing misc cleaning etc) what is essentially two guys installing a refrigeration unit. On the space station.

A pump sprung an ammonia leak on Thursday so this is a non-scheduled spacewalk, which they are airing live on NASA TV. So far, there has been a sunrise, a funny comment or two ("You're being photobombed by your tether.") and a couple guys removing and replacing a cooling unit in scrupulous and painstaking detail, in zero-g and the vacuum of space clinging to the outside of a space station going around the Earth so fast it experiences 16 sunrises a day, which I believe is 7.7 km/s, or about five times the speed of a bullet.

I found myself idly watching a guy using a funky space power-drill and thinking, "It's all supposed to go well, nothing big happening is a good thing, it means nothing's gone wrong." And that's when the camera feed from the guy went blue-screen, which was mildly alarming.

It's still ongoing, they've got the new one in, they're hooking the old one up to the spare dock to salvage the ammonia from it and try to diagnose if it's the cause of the leak.

The unscheduled sort-of-emergency spacewalk is currently streaming live at NASA TV for anyone else interested in watching.

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ciaranbochna From: ciaranbochna Date: May 11th, 2013 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
That sounded fascinating. I had heard about the issue, and the scheduled fix. I am glad you were able to see it:)
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: May 11th, 2013 08:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was apparently the quickest planned spacewalk in history, from deciding it needed to be done to completion in 48 hours.

On the way back in, one of the astronauts stopped at the airlock for a minute and gave a little tribute speech thanking the ground crew and honoring the memory of one of the trainers they all had when training for space walks who died suddenly last week. I'm sure that's going to get repeated or transcripted somewhere, it was beautiful and far more than I can describe.
ciaranbochna From: ciaranbochna Date: May 11th, 2013 08:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hope so, I would love to read/listen to it.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: May 11th, 2013 10:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really suspect it will, it was one of those kind of speeches.
aelfgyfu_mead From: aelfgyfu_mead Date: May 13th, 2013 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow. I've been a bit cut off from news since Wednesday and hadn't heard anything about this matter; thanks for posting
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: May 14th, 2013 06:02 am (UTC) (Link)
I've been keeping an eye on news from the ISS lately, the Commander for the past few months is a Canadian (Chris Hadfield) and he's been taking some amazing photos and singing songs and also posting YouTube videos (via his family members and the Canadian Space Agency) about what life is like on the space station. He came back to Earth today.
aelfgyfu_mead From: aelfgyfu_mead Date: May 14th, 2013 11:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes—I've seen some of his photos and videos. Amazing.
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caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: May 11th, 2013 10:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Happy to share
samalander_dawn From: samalander_dawn Date: May 11th, 2013 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh neat!
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: May 11th, 2013 10:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Isn't it just? If someone had told 12 year old me that one day I'd be watching astronauts repairing a space station (commanded by a Canadian) live on a computer, I'd have assumed they were making fun of me.
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