Spacewalk needed to move stalled rail car at space station: NASA

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Two Americans aboard the International Space Station are gearing up for a spacewalk early next week to free a stalled rail car.

See Full Article

Flight controllers in Houston were moving the rail car on the outside of the orbiting lab when it got stuck Wednesday. It stalled just 4 inches from its lock-down position.

NASA operations manager Kenny Todd said Friday the car needs to be securely attached to its guide rails before any dockings by visiting spacecraft. Russia plans to launch a supply ship Monday for a linkup Wednesday.

NASA's one-year spaceman Scott Kelly and the newly arrived Timothy Kopra could step outside as early as Monday. Managers will decide Sunday whether to proceed or wait until Tuesday.

Engineers believe a stuck brake handle is to blame. This mobile transport system is normally used to transport people and equipment, including the station's big robot arm.

Todd said it was fortunate the car ended up in the middle rather than on the end of the space station's long, trusslike framework. At least the centre-of-gravity is good, and access should be easy for the spacewalkers, he said.

"We kind of got lucky. If we're going to have this kind of problem, we're ... right almost in the middle of the truss," Todd said in a NASA TV interview.

The spacewalk would last about three hours, and the astronauts might even be asked to take care of a few other tasks.

Kelly is three-quarters of the way into a one-year mission that's due to end in March. Kopra arrived Tuesday, launching from Kazakhstan with Russian and British colleagues.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Florida eco-friendly town opens for business

    Tech & Science CTV News
    With a farm-to-table restaurant, driverless shuttles, homes built with the latest green techniques and a massive solar farm to offset energy use, Florida's first sustainable town is now open for business. The buzz about Babcock Ranch, an eco-friendly city of the future and the largest development of its kind in the United States, drew more than 15,000 people out this month for a peek. Source
  • 11 endangered wild elephants rescued from mud in Cambodia

    Tech & Science CTV News
    PHNOM PENH, Cambodia -- Eleven endangered wild elephants were rescued in Cambodia on Saturday, four days after getting stuck in a 3-meter-deep mud hole, officials said. The animals were rescued in northeastern Mondulkiri province, home to about 250 wild elephants, said Wildlife Alliance official Bothmroath Lebun. Source
  • How lasers, environmentalists and Google combine to reduce methane emissions

    Tech & Science CBC News
    A new project has brought together university researchers, an environmental organization and Google to help find and track methane leaks in U.S. cities. Methane, a natural gas, is commonly used as an energy and heating source, but also makes up about 25 per cent of the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Source
  • Another reason to flip the off switch for Earth Hour: light pollution

    Tech & Science CTV News
    For the 11th year running, cities worldwide will turn their lights off Saturday to mark Earth Hour in a global call to action on climate change. But the moment of darkness should also serve as a reminder, activists say, of another problem that gets far less attention: light pollution. Source
  • Black hole gets unusual 'kick' out of galaxy core thanks to gravitational waves

    Tech & Science CBC News
    A team of international researchers got a bit of a shock recently when a supermassive black hole — something that normally anchors the centre of a galaxy — was spotted speeding away from its home. The reason? Gravitational waves, says the research team. Source
  • Bad breath: Study finds array of bacteria when orcas exhale

    Tech & Science CTV News
    SEATTLE -- When the mighty orca breaks to the surface and exhales, the whale sprays an array of bacteria and fungi in its his breath, scientists said, some good, and some bad such as salmonella. Source
  • Trump's proposed NASA cuts take aim at Earth science

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Officials at NASA were delighted that U.S. President Donald Trump's budget proposal allocates $19.1 billion for the agency, down only 0.8 per cent from last year, but the proposal also cuts several programs to study the Earth. Source
  • 'Call of Duty' gamers converge on Toronto for national championship

    Tech & Science CTV News
    TORONTO -- Many people have a go-to tool at work. For Andrew Ivers, it's a KBAR-32 this weekend. The 19-year-old from Toronto is a professional gamer who hopes to use his virtual assault rifle to help Team GIRG win the Cineplex WorldGaming "Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare" tournament final Sunday. Source
  • Apple: Software flaws in latest WikiLeaks docs are all fixed

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Apple said purported hacking vulnerabilities disclosed by WikiLeaks this week have all been fixed in recent iPhones and Mac computers. The documents released by the anti-secrecy site Thursday morning pointed to an apparent CIA program to hack Apple devices using techniques that users couldn't disable by resetting their devices. Source
  • Spacewalking astronauts prep space station for new parking spot

    Tech & Science CBC News
    ?Spacewalking astronauts prepped the International Space Station on Friday for a new parking spot reserved for commercial crew capsules. The 402-kilometre-high complex already has one docking port in place for the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing Starliner, which should start carrying up astronauts as early as next year. Source