. 24/7 Space News .
Recipe for a spacewalk
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Aug 08, 2018

ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen training for spacewalks

ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen may be stationed on the ground, but his expertise was vital to the recent spacewalk of two NASA astronauts, Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold. From maintaining constant radio contact on the day, to simulating activities underwater and planning for emergencies months in advance, he shares what it takes to make a spacewalk run smoothly as Europe's second ever ground support in radio contact for a spacewalk.

Known to the crew as an EVA (extravehicular activity), each spacewalk provides a valuable opportunity to carry out repairs, test new equipment and even perform science experiments beyond the confines of a spacecraft. Exiting the International Space Station however brings heightened risk and activities are planned down to the minute.

As ground IV for the spacewalk on 14 June 2018, Andreas was Drew and Ricky's key point of contact and led the pair step-by-step through their spacewalk over the radio.

Speaking from his post at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, USA, he says preparation for a spacewalk takes a whole team and starts anywhere from six months to a year in advance.

"Typically, there is one main task. In this case, it was to install two high definition cameras at the front of the International Space Station that will be used for the first flights of the new SpaceX and Boeing spacecraft," he explains. "As the main task is unlikely to last the full six and a half hours of spacewalk time, the team looks at what other priorities can to be accomplished and how they could fit around this.

Each spacewalk is performed underwater in a big pool known as a Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory. Astronauts on a spacewalk do not always have the opportunity to simulate the entire sortie before they launch so the input of others like Andreas is crucial.

"I was able to participate in two underwater development runs, so I got a good understanding of the spacewalk," Andreas says. "These development runs help the team refine the timeline - sometimes tasks will get cut and other tasks get added. Once we are confident of a fairly good plan, it is run a final time for evaluation by the wider EVA division and other astronauts who look at everything from feasibility to efficiency and rescue scenarios."

In addition to the underwater run-throughs, the flight-control team - of which Andreas is part - also carry out simulations to ensure they are prepared to respond to any unexpected events or emergencies spacewalkers might encounter.

No emergencies occurred on the day itself, but not everything ran as expected. "We had two issues," Andreas explains. "In order to hook up the cables leading to the cameras, Drew and Ricky needed to open a panel to access some cable connectors. One of the fasteners holding the panel in place was stuck so Drew had to come up with a way of accessing it. Then, once we had finished accessing it, he had to use two long-duration tie-down tethers to hold the panel in place.

"At the same time, once we had hooked the cables up to the cameras, we found some of the pins were misconfigured so the cameras were not getting data. Luckily, the flight control team was able to fix that as well without losing time, but we certainly had some challenges thrown at us in the beginning."

While Andreas is not scheduled to take up the same task in further spacewalks this year, he hopes to be involved in the future. He says an average year can contain anywhere up to six spacewalks, depending on tasks in need of completion.

Related Links
Human Spaceflight at ESA
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

Cygnus concludes 9th Cargo Supply Mission to Space Station
Dulles VA (SPX) Aug 01, 2018
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) announced that its "S.S. J.R. Thompson" Cygnus spacecraft successfully completed its ninth cargo supply mission to the International Space Station under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-1) contract. ]The spacecraft removed more than 6,600 pounds (over 3,000 kilograms) of disposable cargo, a new record for Cygnus. The "S.S. J.R. Thompson" also successfully executed secondary missions that included the demonstration of Cygnus' ability to reboost the s ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Blend of novices, veterans to fly on first private US spaceships

NASA, Commercial Partners Progress to Human Spaceflight Home Stretch

NASA Assigns Crews to First Test Flights, Missions on Commercial Spacecraft

ISS end-of-life options

Aerojet Rocketdyne boosters complete simulated air-launch tests

First SLS Core Stage flight hardware complete, ready for joining

PLD SPACE signs a 25-year concession for rocket engine testing at Teruel Airport

China's newest micro-rocket has fast production cycle

Sorry Elon Musk, but it's now clear that colonising Mars is unlikely

Mars Dust Storm May Have Peaked

Russia Plans to Send Capsule With Microorganisms to Mars

Students can now build their own rover model

Growing US unease with China's new deep space facility in Argentina

China solicits international cooperation experiments on space station

China developing in-orbit satellite transport vehicle

PRSS-1 Satellite in Good Condition

Seventh set of Iridium NEXT satellites performing well during pre-operational testing

Bangladesh PM opens satellite ground stations

Telesat signs consortium deal with Thales and SSL new LEO constellation

Thales and SSL form consortium to further design and develop Telesat's LEO constellation

Cars and Planes Are Safer Thanks to This Tool Developed for Shuttle

New photodetector camera to deploy during Robotic Servicing Demonstration Mission

Ricocheting radio waves monitor the tiniest movements in a room

Sea Giraffe radar selected for USNS Herschel 'Woody' Williams

VLA Detects Possible Extrasolar Planetary-Mass Magnetic Powerhouse

TESS catches a comet before starting planet hunting mission

Exoplanets where life could develop as on Earth

Exoplanet detectives create reference catalog of spectra and geometric albedos

New Horizons team prepares for stellar occultation ahead of Ultima Thule flyby

High-Altitude Jovian Clouds

'Ribbon' wraps up mystery of Jupiter's magnetic equator

The True Colors of Pluto and Charon

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.