Spacewalking astronauts turn cable guys in 1st of 3 jobs - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Spacewalking astronauts turn cable guys in 1st of 3 jobs

Spacewalkers set up hundreds of feet of cable. (Source: NASA TV) Spacewalkers set up hundreds of feet of cable. (Source: NASA TV)

By MARCIA DUNN

AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - Spacewalking astronauts routed more than 300 feet of cable outside the International Space Station on Saturday, tricky and tiring advance work for the arrival of new American-made crew capsules.

It was the first of three spacewalks planned for NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Terry Virts over the coming week.

Altogether, Wilmore and Virts have 764 feet of cable to run outside the space station. They got off to a strong start Saturday, rigging eight power and data lines, or about 340 feet.

"Broadening my resume," Virts observed.

NASA considers this the most complicated cable-routing job in the 16-year history of the space station. Equally difficult will be running cable on the inside of the complex.

The extensive rewiring is needed to prepare for NASA's next phase 260 miles up: the 2017 arrival of the first commercial spacecraft capable of transporting astronauts to the orbiting lab.

NASA is paying Boeing and SpaceX to build the capsules and fly them from Cape Canaveral, which hasn't seen a manned launch since the shuttles retired in 2011. Instead, Russia is doing all the taxi work - for a steep price.

The first of two docking ports for the Boeing and SpaceX vessels - still under development - is due to arrive in June. Even more spacewalks will be needed to set everything up.

There were so many cables that NASA color-coded them. That helped the spacewalkers only so much; they expected a lighter blue for one of the lines.

"I worked up a lather on that one," Wilmore informed Mission Control. After successfully attaching the first four cables, he added, "I've got to cool down."

Mission Control left two cables - or about 24 feet worth - for the next spacewalk coming up Wednesday. Four hundred feet of additional cable will be installed March 1 on spacewalk No. 3.

"We've got a lot of work still," Mission Control said as Saturday's 6 ½-hour spacewalk drew to a close. "We want to make sure we look after your health and get you back inside now, so we're going to claim victory here."

It was the first spacewalk for Virts, who arrived at the space station in late November. He savored the moment as he floated out high above the South Pacific. "Pretty cool," he said.

Spacesuit concerns stalled the work by a day.

NASA wanted to make certain that the suits worn by Wilmore and Virts had reliable fan and pump assemblies. Two other fan-pump units failed aboard the space station in recent months and were returned to Earth earlier this month for analysis. Corrosion was discovered, the result of water intrusion from testing.

Their suits appeared to work fine Saturday.

"I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for their hard work and diligence," Wilmore, the station's commander, said once he was safely back inside.

Online:

NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html 

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Amber Alert canceled for Pickens County boy

    Amber Alert canceled for Pickens County boy

    Saturday, March 25 2017 6:31 PM EDT2017-03-25 22:31:56 GMT

    Alabama Law Enforcement Agency has CANCELLED the Amber Alert for 11-month-old Christian Clay Perkins. 

    More >>

    Alabama Law Enforcement Agency has CANCELLED the Amber Alert for 11-month-old Christian Clay Perkins. 

    More >>
  • David: Showers and storms ongoing across the Valley

    David: Showers and storms ongoing across the Valley

    Saturday, March 25 2017 5:50 PM EDT2017-03-25 21:50:37 GMT

    Showers and storms will be ongoing across the Valley this evening. The most widespread rain will be over northeastern AL, but additional scattered storms will track into the Shoals from the west. That round of stormy weather will head east with time and should be out of the Valley after midnight. The threat for severe storms is low, but a few strong storms are possible. 

    More >>

    Showers and storms will be ongoing across the Valley this evening. The most widespread rain will be over northeastern AL, but additional scattered storms will track into the Shoals from the west. That round of stormy weather will head east with time and should be out of the Valley after midnight. The threat for severe storms is low, but a few strong storms are possible. 

    More >>
  • New details released in Guntersville double shooting

    New details released in Guntersville double shooting

    Saturday, March 25 2017 2:07 PM EDT2017-03-25 18:07:30 GMT
    Guntersville police say two people were shot at this mobile home area on Edmonds Road. (Source: WAFF)Guntersville police say two people were shot at this mobile home area on Edmonds Road. (Source: WAFF)

    The Guntersville Police Department have released news details on a double shooting late Friday afternoon that left one man dead.

    The incident occurred at approximately 5:30 p.m., when police from multiple law enforcement agencies responded to a 911 call reporting two people had been shot on Edmonds Road.

    More >>

    The Guntersville Police Department have released news details on a double shooting late Friday afternoon that left one man dead.

    The incident occurred at approximately 5:30 p.m., when police from multiple law enforcement agencies responded to a 911 call reporting two people had been shot on Edmonds Road.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly