Tag Archives: spacewalks

Spacesuit problem from January declared solved

NASA has completed its investigation into the spacesuit water leak that forced a January spacewalk to end two hours early by declaring the problem is not serious and needs no significant re-engineering.

However, thanks to the suit being returned to Earth on the Dragon, the problem with [astronaut Tim] Kopra’s suit was deemed to be more an unfortunate coincidence, as opposed to a wider issue with the EMUs [spacesuits] on Station. Mr. Shireman told the ASAP [Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel] that the conclusion reached was that the incident was not an example of the same failure as in the previous water-in-the-helmet instance. “In this case, the likely cause was a combination of both environmental and operational factors that blocked outlet port slurper holes. The finding was that the amount of water was considerably smaller than before, and the conclusion reached was that this was a non-hazardous occurrence, even if it occurs in the future.”

As a result, the NASA team recommended a “go” for nominal and planned EVAs. Two EVAs, with special contingency allowances, were conducted since EVA-35, both without issue.

The whole article reads like a government press release trying to paper over a problem. “Move along, nothing to see here!” While they might have located and solved the problem, this tone makes me very suspicious. They would be smarter to just tell us the story straight, rather acting like NASA cheerleaders

Spacewalk cut short due to spacesuit water leak

Today’s spacewalk at ISS to repair a failed voltage regulator of the station’s power system has been cut short because a water bubble had appeared inside one of the astronaut’s spacesuit.

The astronauts are presently in the airlock about to remove their spacesuits, so it appears they are not in danger. However, this problem is the return of the earlier water leaks inside NASA’s spacesuits, something that the agency had thought it had solved last year. If it has returned, this is of serious concern, since it suggests that they have not yet pinpointed the chronic cause of the problem.

It should be noted that the astronauts had successfully replaced the voltage regulator prior to the premature conclusion of their spacewalk. They had had other less critical tasks on their schedule which they had to forego because of the leak.

NASA engineers have decided to go ahead with a series of spacewalks to repair the ISS cooling system, thereby delaying the Cygnus cargo mission until January.

NASA engineers have decided to go ahead with a series of spacewalks to repair the ISS cooling system, thereby delaying the Cygnus cargo mission until January.

The EVAs will take place on December 21, 23 and 25 followed by a Russian Spacewalk on the 27th and a Beta-Angle Cut-out beginning on December 29. That means that the earliest launch opportunity for Cygnus is January 9, 2014 (local time) – pending the successful execution of the contingency EVAs.

Update: The Orbital Sciences press announcement says their launch can happen no earlier than January 13.