Britain gets 1st spacewalker; station power grid needs fixed

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Two astronauts -- including Britain's first spacewalker -- ventured outside Friday morning to restore full power to the International Space Station.

See Full Article

British spaceman Timothy Peake and NASA's Timothy Kopra need to replace an electronic box that failed two months ago, slashing station power by one-eighth. The breakdown did not disrupt work 250 miles up, but NASA wanted the power grid fixed as soon as possible in case something else failed.

As Peake floated out, space station commander Scott Kelly called out, "Hey Tim, it's really cool seeing that Union Jack go outside. It's explored all over the world. Now it's explored space."

Replied Peake, the first spacewalker to wear the Union Jack on the shoulder of his suit: "It's great to be wearing it, a huge privilege, a proud moment."

The broken unit -- a voltage regulator -- is about the size of a 30-gallon aquarium. It's being replaced by a spare dubbed Dusty; the spare has been on the space station since 1999.

Peake and Kopra need to make the switch in darkness, to prevent electricity from flowing through the solar power system and shocking them. They have just 31 minutes on each swing around Earth to complete the repair on the far reaches of the space station. The work site is about 200 feet from where they exited, about as far as spacewalkers safely can go.

"Popping outside for a walk" Peake said in a tweet Thursday. "Exhilarated - but no time to dwell on emotions."

Peake, a helicopter pilot chosen by the European Space Agency, is Britain's first official astronaut.

A handful of previous spacewalkers held dual U.S.-English citizenship, but flew as Americans for NASA. The first British citizen to fly in space, chemist Helen Sharman, visited Russia's old Mir space station as part of a private competition in 1991.

Peake and Kopra rocketed into orbit exactly one month ago aboard a Russian spacecraft.

To distinguish between the two Tims, Mission Control used both their first and last names when calling out to them in the void. Ground controllers, at least, didn't have any problem distinguishing the spacewalkers' voices. Peake is from West Sussex in southeast England; Kopra is from Austin, Texas.

------

Online:

NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/mission--pages/station/main/index.html

08:24ET 15-01-16



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • How to take photos of the solar eclipse

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Photographing today’s solar eclipse requires a few extra steps, but is possible to do even with a smartphone. James Estrin, a senior staff photographer with the New York Times, recommends using a DSLR camera and a long lens, around 400 millimetres, to get a close up of the eclipse, but said that a smartphone will also be able to capture the moment. Source
  • Tech experts demanding 'killer robot' ban

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Tesla chief Elon Musk and Mustafa Suleyman, the co-founder of Google's DeepMind, are among more than 100 experts in artificial intelligence who are urging the United Nations to ban lethal autonomous weapons, known as “killer robots. Source
  • Quantum physics for babies — a different bedtime story

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Chris Ferrie writes books about rocket science for babies. The quantum theorist and alumnus of the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo describes himself as a "theorist by day, father by night." His latest publication Quantum Physics for Babies is the latest in his 'Baby University' series, and while the books don't guarantee a PhD, Ferrie says he's "just giving the seeds. Source
  • Guelph researcher turning 'Back to the Future' fuel into reality

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Professor Animesh Dutta has never seen the movie Back to The Future, but his latest project bears a striking resemblance to the film. The University of Guelph engineer is finding a way to turn food waste into fuel. Source
  • Americans stake out prime viewing spots to see sun go dark

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Americans with telescopes, cameras and protective glasses staked out viewing spots along a narrow corridor from Oregon to South Carolina to watch the moon blot out the midday sun Monday in what promised to be the most observed and photographed eclipse in history. Source
  • Moon begins blotting out the sun in historic eclipse

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Americans gazed in wonder through telescopes, cameras and protective glasses Monday as the moon began blotting out the midday sun in the first full-blown solar eclipse to sweep the U.S. from coast to coast in nearly a century. Source
  • Why a few drops of water make whisky taste better

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Ignore the snobs, because most experts agree: a few drops of water enhance the taste of whiskies, from well-rounded blends to peat bombs redolent of smoke, tobacco and leather. The only real question is, why is this true? Source
  • New Jersey shore amusement park recalls eclipse glasses

    Tech & Science CTV News
    POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. -- A New Jersey shore amusement park is warning customers who bought special glasses to watch the solar eclipse to return them. Jenkinson's Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach announced on Facebook Sunday that EverythingBranded.com does not recommend using the glasses to view Monday's eclipse. Source
  • Rural Missouri set for influx of eclipse tourists in moment out of the sun

    Tech & Science CTV News
    ST. LOUIS -- Rural Missouri is preparing for its moment in the sun. Check that: Its moment out of the sun. A diagonal 482-kilometre-long, roughly 112-kilometres-wide stretch from St. Joseph to Cape Girardeau will be in the "path of totality" that will offer the best viewing of the total eclipse on Monday, the first in 99 years that will be visible coast-to-coast in the U.S. Source
  • China to relaunch one of the world's fastest bullet trains

    Tech & Science CTV News
    BEIJING -- After cutting back the speed of the Beijing to Shanghai bullet train following a deadly crash, China is set to again make it one of the world's fastest. New generation trains will service the route starting next month, making the 1,250-kilometre (777-mile) journey from the capital to Shanghai in just 4 hours, 30 minutes. Source