NASA to resume spacewalks after investigation into 'close call'
by Doug Cunningham
Washington DC (UPI) Oct 19, 2021
NASA has approved resumption of routine spacewalks outside the International Space Station after a seven-month pause and after finishing an October flight readiness review.
The review was the last step in an investigation into a "close call" on a spacewalk in March.
Three spacewalks are planned, beginning sometime in mid-November, to work on installation of roll out solar arrays known as iROSA, according to a NASA blog.
NASA investigated a thin layer of moisture found inside the helmet of European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer after a nearly seven-hour spacewalk in March.
The incident was declared a close call by NASA, with all spacewalks stopped pending the investigation and flight readiness review.
NASA said in a blog statement that the investigation determined that the water was in the helmet due to "integrated system performance where several variables such as crew exertion and crew cooling settings led to the generation of comparatively larger than normal amounts of condensation within the system."
The investigation included water samples and some spacesuit hardware that returned to Earth on March 30 and Aug. 20, NASA said.
Based on the findings, NASA said, operational procedures were updated and new "mitigation hardware" was developed to "minimize scenarios where integrated performance results in water accumulation."
NASA said those measures will contain any liquid in helmets to continue to keep the crew safe.
"Crew safety is the top priority of NASA and our international partners," Kathryn Lueders, associate administrator for NASA's Space Operations Mission Directorate, said in a statement.
"I'm proud of the space station and ground teams' work to keep our crew members safe, for taking the time necessary to close out the investigation, and for continually findings ways to mitigate risks in human spaceflight."
NASA Crew-4 astronauts safely splash down in Atlantic
Washington DC (SPX) Oct 17, 2022
NASA's SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts aboard the Dragon spacecraft safely splashed down Friday off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, completing the agency's fourth commercial crew mission to the International Space Station. The international crew of four spent 170 days in orbit. NASA astronauts Bob Hines, Kjell Lindgren, and Jessica Watkins and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti returned to Earth in a parachute-assisted splashdown at 4:55 p.m. EDT. Teams aboard SpaceX recover ... read more
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