NASA Astronauts Complete Installation Work in Outer Space
By Space Coast Daily // March 25, 2021
U.S. astronauts Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins have completed installation work in outer space. This was reported on Twitter by the American space agency NASA.
This year there have already been four exits under the American program from the International Space Station. US astronauts have completed installation work in outer space and returned to the International Space Station.
The official start of spacewalks began at 08.14 ET when NASA astronauts switched their spacesuits to self-powered. The astronauts spent 6 hours and 47 minutes in outer space.
In the process, they relocated the ammonia bridges, installed a Quest airlock, and completed the payload cabling. According to NASA, all the tasks were completed successfully.
Previous work in open space took place on March 1. They were conducted by NASA astronauts Keith Rubins and Victor Glover, and they spent more than seven hours in outer space. Astronauts worked to strengthen the power supply to the station.
Why Do Astronauts Go Into Outer Space?
Behind the thin walls (no more than 20 mm) of the ISS is the so-called open space – an empty lifeless space, once in which, without protection, a person will not even have time to suffocate, but will die from a pressure drop within a few tens of seconds.
It will cool down much later – in space, due to the vacuum, there is very weak heat transfer, and any object cools slowly. Astronauts go into space in special suits – space suits, consisting of a large number of shells.
Those, by the way, could be easily provided by composite engineering companies at Engre.co platform. The suits create a personal microcosm for a person with acceptable pressure, temperature, and air that can be breathed.
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The spacesuit is poorly mobile, and the more excess pressure is in it, the more rigid it is (the suit inflates in a vacuum-like ball). Therefore, cosmonauts carry out a lot of pre-flight training both in the hydro laboratory and on special simulators, and the spacesuit itself must be properly fitted.
Astronauts work only with their hands: sleeves and gloves are the most mobile part of the suit. However, even this activity is not easy: for example, it takes significant efforts to completely clench a fist in a glove stretched from the inside by a half atmosphere.
It’s no secret that all overboard work is done with hands. Squeezing the glove of the spacesuit completely, of course, is possible, another thing is that to perform work outside the station is not always necessary.
It is enough to make smaller movements with your fingers so that your hands, shoulder girdle, fingers do not get tired and so that you can perform all the tasks of extravehicular activity.
Astronauts train their hands with special exercises that develop the shoulder girdle and fingers. Also, the work of astronauts is facilitated by special tools that do not require full compression of the gloves to hold them in their hands.
In addition to the strong tension of the hands, the person warms up and sweats a lot inside the spacesuit, despite the operation of the cooling system.
Cosmonauts work in different places outside the station, sometimes it is necessary to travel a long way from the exit from the Pirs module to the place of work. Along the way, the astronauts moving on their hands cling themselves to the rigid and flexible handrails with a belay, like climbers. There are two safety halyards – 1.5 and 3 meters.
No one has ever counted how many times an astronaut re-hooks a carbine during EVA because it depends on the tasks. During some exits, the astronauts work near the airlock.
The handrails on the surfaces of the modules are located unevenly – somewhere more often, somewhere less often. In some places, the handrails are located far enough or soft handrails are installed altogether – there is a slightly different interlocking system.
During the time they leave the station, the cosmonauts repeatedly find themselves both in the shadow of the Earth and on the sunny side. In the shade, the systems of the spacesuit are turned on for heating – warm water begins to flow through the tubes of a special mesh suit worn by the astronaut inside the spacesuit.
On the sunny side, the water system is switched on for cooling. Moreover, it is much easier to overheat in a spacesuit than to freeze – it works like a thermos, and the inner space of the spacesuit quickly heats up from the heat of a working person.
On the sunny side, astronauts also use a special protective visor made of multilayer golden mirror glass. It protects their face and eyes from the sun’s rays so well that they can look directly at our star, planet, or moon. It didn’t interfere to watch all objects that can be placed on a space object.