Spacewalking astronauts successfully install cabling for new docking stations on ISS but spacesuit water leak returns

by | Feb 23, 2015 | Commercial human spaceflight, International Space Station, NASA, Space Shuttle, SpaceX | 0 comments

NASA astronaut, Barry Wilmore, along with fellow astronaut, Terry Virts, ventured outside of the International Space Station on 21 February 2014, in the first of three EVA assignments to prepare the ISS with docking equipment to accept US Commercial crew spacecraft.

Barry Wilmore with photographing astronaut Terry Virts in his visor during their spacewalk on 21 February 2015. Courtesy: NASA

Barry Wilmore with photographing astronaut Terry Virts in his visor during their spacewalk on 21 February 2015. Courtesy: NASA

Virts took this image of his workmate during downtime in their schedule which involved laying cables to allow two new docking adapters IDA-1 and IDA-2 to be fitted on the former Shuttle docking ports, PMA-2 and PMA-3 to allow direct docking of Dragon and CST-100 spacecraft. The spacewalk started with depressurisation taking place at 1240 GMT followed by the hatch from the Quest airlock being opened at 1242 GMT. The astronauts closed the Quest hatch at around 1918 GMT, repressurising at 1926 GMT.

On 25 February 2015, Astronauts,  Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts made second spacewalk to complete installation of final two cables and removing the soft thermal cover from PMA-2 docking port (originally fitted during spacewalk on 9 July 2013)
while the Canadarm-2’s LEE-A (Latching End Effector) was lubricated and wire ties were fitted on the P1 and S1 truss segments.  The spacewalk began with airlock depressurization around 1142 GMT with hatch opening around 1148 GMT with the astronauts. The hatch was
closed at 1829 GMT and repressurization was at 1834 GMT.

Of concern to NASA was that during the spacewalk astronaut Virts reported a water leak inside his helmet. The spacesuits and helmets used are known to be prone to leaking since Luca Parmitano had a threatening occurrence of such a leak during a spacewalk in July 2013.

Despite this, it was deemed safe enough for the astronaut pair to carry on with a third spacewalk on 1 March 2015.

All times from NASA via Jonathan McDowell’s website:

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