Spacewalks are done by the astronauts for repair and maintenance of the International Space Station. From the series of three spacewalks allotted for the month of October, the second spacewalk was just completed on October 10. Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik of NASA and Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei of NASA successfully carried out the 2nd spacewalk for the ISS repair. The first spacewalk was successfully completed on October 5, by both Bresnik and Vande Hei.
During the second spacewalk, both Bresnik and Vande Hei lubricated the components of the new latching end effector and also replaced a faulty camera system. Actually, on their first spacewalk that took place on October 5, the two astronauts replaced one of the two Latching End Effectors present on the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2, which got malfunctioned in August. And on Tuesday, they lubricated the replaced latching end effectors.
The lubrication work included the use of grease gun to grease the big robotic arms’ new hand and keep the latching mechanism working smoothly. Vande Hei carried out the fast greasing process, but still, some part is left which will be greased in the 3rd spacewalk scheduled to take place next week. Actually, the latches, or hands, are located on each end of the Canadian-built robot arm, and they are used to grab the arriving US cargo ships and also enable the robot arm to move around the orbiting lab.
After lubricating the robotic arm, the two US astronauts replaced the camera present on the station’s truss. As the previous camera had aged and was tinting images pink, so it was replaced with a new high definition video camera. NASA spokesman Rob Navias described the camera equipment as offering “new eyes” to the orbiting outpost. Also, on October 18, during the last and final spacewalk of the series, another camera named the ‘Old Yeller’ present at the Destiny Laboratory, will be replaced with a new HD camera. But for this, Vande Hei will be replaced by Flight Engineer Joe Acaba, a teacher-turned astronomer.
Thursday’s spacewalk lasted for about 6 hours and 27 minutes and was completed successfully. On October 18, both Bresnik and Acaba will carry out the 3rd spacewalk and will continue the lubrication of the new end effector and replace the camera system on the Destiny Lab.