Two astronauts are spacewalking today to fix the space station's robotic arm

Two astronauts are spacewalking today to fix the space station's robotic arm

Two Nasa astronauts wrapped up a successful spacewalk on Thursday (Oct 5) to fix the International Space Station's (ISS') ageing robotic arm, the United States space agency said.

Thursday's spacewalk was the first of three scheduled spacewalks this month aimed at repairing and maintaining various pieces of equipment outside the ISS, and was the 203rd spacewalk in the history of the space station. Expedition 53 astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba will also "stand" on Canadarm2 during spacewalks on October 10 and October 18.

These spacewalks will include lubricating the new LEEs on the robotic arm and replacing cameras on the ISS's truss and on the U.S. Destiny lab.

"It's more gorgeous and heavenly than I saw when I was out here eight years ago", Bresnik, a spacewalk veteran, marveled as he floated out of the airlock 250 miles above Africa. The LEEs feature internal snares that rotate and tighten to lock onto grapple fixtures while latches engage to supply power, data and additional rigidity. It's two Latching End Effectors, or LEEs, have been worsening.

The Canadian-built arm has been in orbit for 16 years.

For identification, Bresnik, call sign EV-1, is using helmet camera 18 and wearing a suit with red stripes. A total of three such spacewalks have been scheduled for the month of October, of which the first will commence on Thursday, informed NASA.

The astronauts will fix the latching mechanism on the end of the Canadian robotic arm which is not functioning properly.

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The 18m arm was instrumental in assembling the space station and is used to reach out and grab approaching cargo ships. Canadarm2 is anchored to the MBS and can be moved along the base's truss by the LEEs.

Canadarm2 was launched in 2001, so it's starting to experience some wear and tear.

During one or more spacewalks early next year, the arm's LEE-B grappler will be removed and replaced with a spare now mounted on an external storage platform.

Two more walks are scheduled, one on October 10 and the other this month on October 18.

Bresnik's third spacewalk and the first for Vande Hei.

Similar to the International Space Station, this new space station will be open to to astronauts and cosmonauts globally.

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