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NASA Astronauts Successfully Install New Space Station Docking Port

NASA Astronauts Successfully Install New Space Station Docking Port

Two NASA astronauts successfully commissioned a new parking mark during a International Space Station currently (Aug. 19), imprinting a pivotal step toward easy new blurb space taxis that arrive during a orbiting lab.

Jeff Williams, commander of Expedition 48, and moody operative Kate Rubins ventured outward of a space station this morning during 8:04 a.m. EDT (1204 GMT) — one notation forward of schedule. The spacewalk came to an early finish during 2:02 p.m. EDT (1802 GMT) due to a teenager communication problem.

“The perspective is phenomenal,” Rubins said, as she exited a space station’s Quest airlock. Today’s spacewalk noted a initial for Rubins and a fourth of Williams’ career. [The Most Memorable Spacewalks in History (Photo Gallery)]

The spacewalk was scheduled to take about 6.5 hours. The categorical idea of today’s spacewalk was to implement a critical new square of machinery: an International Docking Adapter (IDA). Before a start of a spacewalk, a belligerent robotics group used a space station’s robotic arm “Dextre” to position a IDA in front of a Pressurized Mating Adapter-2 (PMA-2).

A small over an hour into a spacewalk, a robotic arm expelled a IDA for Williams and Rubins to fasten and tie into place. During this procedure, Rubins gifted some problem with a “stubborn” wire connector. Williams changed around a side of a IDA to support Rubins, and together a organisation was means to firmly partner a cables with a IDA.

Before a IDA could be sealed into place it indispensable to be ideally aligned with a PMA-2. One of a ready-to-latch indicators started to toggle off and on a bit, so a organisation was educated to insert and tie another tether. 

After all a cables and offshoot sensors were good to go, Japanese wanderer Takuya Onishi, inside a station, released a authority for a hooks to close, permanently affixing a IDA to PMA-2

Next, a dual astronauts private a IDA cover and commissioned dual new reflectors (mirrors) that will act as a primary advancing aids. These mirrors on a IDA duty many like rearview mirrors on Earth-bound cars, permitting destiny space taxis to navigate into their new parking mark on a space station.

The designation of a IDA means a space hire will be means to accommodate several space taxis, including SpaceX and Boeing vehicles. Before now, usually Russian vehicles were means to wharf with space station. 

“We’ve non-stop adult a new section [of] a story of a International Space Station,” Williams said. “Congratulations to a whole team.” Williams also took a impulse to wish a happy birthday to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who incited 70 today.

Ahead of schedule, Williams and Rubins packaged adult their IDA collection and started work on some “get ahead” tasks. They snapped some photos of a new advancing pier and routed some additional cables for a second IDA, that will be flown adult to a space hire subsequent year. 

 

Credit: NASA TV

 

Due to damaged communication with Williams’ right ear piece, additional teenager “go ahead” tasks were called-off and a dual astronauts headed behind to a space station’s airlock around 1:30 EDT (1730 GMT). They safely returned inside of a space hire during 2:02 p.m. EDT (1802 GMT).

On Sept. 1, Williams and Rubins will perform a second 6.5-hour spacewalk to redress one of a station’s thermal radiators, among other tasks. Williams will lapse home Sept. 6 with Russian cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin. Williams is set to transcend Scott Kelly’s record for a many sum accumulative time spent in space by an American, with a sum of 534 days. 

Follow Samantha Mathewson @Sam_Ashley13. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original essay on Space.com.

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