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Two spacewalking astronauts completed their work on time today (April 8), despite a stubborn panel on the International Space Station that added several minutes of troubleshooting to their tasks.
NASA astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques spent six hours and 29 minutes completing several repairs and upgrade tasks on the space station. Internet cable work at the U.S. laboratory caused some problems for the duo.
Astronauts - Debris - Shield - Access - Cabling
The astronauts had to remove a micrometeroid orbital debris shield to access some cabling to upgrade connectivity for experiments on the space station. One of the fasteners on the shield, however, refused to loosen. Eventually, astronaut Jeanette Epps — who was walking the astronauts through the spacewalk step by step from NASA's mission control in Houston — suggested Saint-Jacques grab a pry bar. He carefully inserted it under the panel, verifying first that he was in the right position before pushing.
Related: How NASA Spacesuits Work: EMUs Explained (Infographic)
Movement - Saint-Jacques - Space - Agency - Venture
"I feel some movement," said Saint-Jacques, who was the first Canadian Space Agency astronaut to venture outside the ISS in 12 years. The two astronauts carefully jimmied the pry bar back and forth underneath the shield, eventually pulling the panel loose. "Got it!" Saint-Jacques exclaimed. He and McClain exchanged a quick high-five before finishing the installation.
Epps reported that the first connectivity tests worked perfectly. "That's great news," said McClain, who was on her second spacewalk. The panel, unfortunately, then refused to go back in, forcing the astronauts to remove and reinstall a nearby handlebar to squeeze the panel into position. With that task finished, McClain secured the panel with long-duration tie-down tethers before the astronauts moved on to their next task.
Astronaut - David - Saint-Jacques - Gathers - Equipment
Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques gathers equipment to install experiment-support plugs on the outside of the International Space Station on April 8, 2019. This was the Canadian...
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