Space

Crucial Part of ISS Shield Misplaced During Thursday Spacewalk

ISS NASA

Preciseness during spacewalk matters the most and some minor mistakes can also put the spacewalkers and other nearby satellites at risk. In such an unfortunate situation, NASA’s Spacewalkers, during yesterday’s spacewalk lost a crucial part of IS’s shield, which now randomly floating in space, posing some minor threats to the ISS and other artificial celestial objects.

The duo of astronauts – Peggy Whitson and Shane Kimbrough, while on a spacewalk mission Thursday, has accidentally misplaced a crucial fabric shield essential for protecting the International Space Station. From the entire three-stage spacewalk mission, it is the first minor setback which held back one of the crew members astronomers from conducting a record-setting mission. Both Peggy Whitson and Shane Kimbrough were working on a part, where the International Space Station’s docking port was located, and last week, it was disconnected and moved from its place. They were working on employing four large cloth panels of the ISS to cover the entry point where the docking harbour had been, and at this point, suddenly one of the fabric shields drifted away from the space and started soaring freely in space.

“The incident took place nearly 3 1/2 hours after the commencement of the spacewalk. Everything was going so smoothly, said NASA spokesman Dan Huot and suddenly, one of fabric shield of ISS floated away from its place.” However, it was still unclear what actually happened during the mission or who was accountable for the accidentally lost fabric shield.

According to the Associated Press’s latest report, “There was a clearly audible annoyance in the voice of Whitson as she informed about the progression of events to the ground-based Mission Control. After the event, the team reverted and looked at what the sequence of events was, but basically, it was unsecured.

As the entire event unfolded by NASA official, Peggy Whitson set a new world record for being the first women to take the highest number of spacewalks – eight – and was heading for the record of spending the most accumulated time on spacewalking – just more than 53 hours. But all of sudden, the bundled-up shield someway unfastened while both Whitson and Shane Kimbrough were working to the installation of the micrometeorite protection over a region, which left exposed after the relocation of the new docking port last week. Mission Control observed the shield as it floated away. However, after a couple of hours, Mission Control detected the invisible shield and found it to pose no risk to the 250-mile-high celestial outpost. The lost fabric shield was noticeable in the distance in the form a small white dot.

However, apart from this one invisible shield, the duo of astronauts successfully managed to install rest three shields correctly. And for the missing part, Mission Control advised them to follow the TV MacGyver-like plan for a patching it up. The spacewalkers filled the opening using the coat that they had just disconnected from the shifted docking port.

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