Two astronauts, during a space walk, replaced a broken antenna on the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday, NASA reported. The repair was originally scheduled to take place on Tuesday, but was postponed due to trash circulating nearby.
The repair outside the International Space Station (ISS) took over six hours. American astronauts Thomas Mashburn and Kayla Barron removed a broken antenna that was more than 20 years old and installed a new one.
The malfunctioning antenna has lost its ability to send signals back to Earth. Although other devices on the space station may perform the same function, the mission management decided to install new equipment.
The repair was postponed due to space debris
Originally the space walk was scheduled for Tuesday, but due to the threat of debris drifting in space, the so-called space debris, the US space agency decided to move it. It turned out that there is a risk of contact with waste. It has not been stated what “rubbish” it may be, but it is possible that it is the type of trash that has been tested with Russian missiles.
In mid-November, due to the danger of a collision with space debris, the ISS crew was forced to seek shelter in two capsules that are tied to the station. The day after that, Russia confirmed that it had carried out a space trial in which the old satellite was destroyed. The United States considered this attempt irresponsible and endangering the safety of astronauts on the International Space Station. According to Washington, the destruction of the old satellite by Russia left hundreds of thousands of dangerous debris in orbit.
Marshburn and Barron have been on the ISS since November 11. They arrived at the station together with Matthias Maurer and Raja Charim in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, launched from the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral, Florida. Since then, there are seven astronauts on the ISS – apart from the four mentioned above, there are also Anton Szkaplerow, Piotr Dubrow (both from Roscosmos) and Mark Vande Hei (NASA).
Main photo source: Reuters