Two cosmonauts conducting a spacewalk exterior the Worldwide Area Station (ISS) on Wednesday (Oct. 25) acquired an up-close view of a coolant leak that was first noticed flowing from an exterior radiator earlier this month.
got here so near the rising “blob” or “droplet” — because the pooling ammonia was described — that one in all his tethers turned contaminated, necessitating it being bagged and left exterior of the house station when the spacewalk ended.
Kononenko and his fellow Expedition 70 spacewalker, , additionally of the Russian federal house company Roscosmos, started the extravehicular exercise (EVA) at 1:49 p.m. EDT (1749 GMT) on Wednesday, understanding that one in all their first duties was to isolate and picture doc the radiator, which was first noticed leaking coolant on Oct. 9. Used as a backup to a principal physique radiator that regulates the temperature inside Russia’s Nauka multipurpose laboratory module, Kononenko and Chub configured plenty of valves to chop off the exterior radiator from its ammonia provide.
After that was full and earlier than noticing the rising deposit of liquid coolant, Kononenko reported seeing a myriad of small holes on the floor of the radiator’s panels.
“The holes have very even edges, like they have been drilled by,” Kononenko radioed to the flight controllers working in Moscow Mission Management. “There are many them. They’re unfold in a chaotic method.”
The “blob” was believed to have shaped from the residual ammonia that was disturbed when the work was completed to shut the valves. Realizing upfront they could are available contact with the coolant, the cosmonauts had been ready with tissues and cloths to wipe down their spacesuits and instruments in order to not convey any the toxic materials again contained in the house station.
Russian engineers on the bottom will use the info collected by the cosmonauts to additional decide the trigger for the leak and what steps may be taken to return the radiator to make use of sooner or later.
Along with the radiator inspection, Kononenko and Chub additionally labored to put in an artificial radar communications system and launched a nanosatellite to check solar sail expertise. The radar, which will probably be used to watch Earth’s atmosphere, was the primary science payload to be mounted on Nauka’s exterior. The radar’s panels solely partially deployed, and an try by the cosmonauts to get it to completely deploy was not profitable.
The cube-shaped smallsat, which was developed by a group on the Bauman Moscow State Technical College, was designed to check a method for deploying an experimental photo voltaic sail. With a little bit coaxing, the nanosatellite emerged from its housing and slowly tumbled away from the house station, however the photo voltaic wings didn’t lengthen when deliberate.
The 7-hour, 41-minute spacewalk got here to its finish with the hatch being closed to the Poisk module airlock at 9:30 p.m. EDT (0130 GMT on Oct. 26).
The EVA was the 268th in assist of house station meeting, upkeep and upgrades. It was the primary by Chub and the sixth spacewalk by Kononenko, who has now logged a complete of 41 hours and 43 minutes working in Orlan spacesuits within the vacuum of house.