Michigan Students to Speak with NASA Astronauts on Space Station

Michigan Students to Speak with NASA Astronauts on Space Station

Michigan Students to Speak with NASA Astronauts on Space Station

Commander Randy Bresnik and Mark Vande Hei tackled the job on the first of three NASA spacewalks planned over the next two weeks.

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. NASA astronaut Joe Acaba will then join Bresnik during a third spacewalk on October 15th, replacing Vande Hei, to do more lubrication and another camera replacement. Joe Acaba arrived at the space station September 12 for his third mission to space.

Frieling said wear and tear on the LEE became problematic in August, when the latches inside the grapple fixture "stalled out" and "required a little bit more force than normal to extend". Bresnik and Vande Hei will conduct the second spacewalk together. Two latching mechanisms at each end of the arm, called Latching End Effectors (LEE) have been deteriorating.

Canadarm2, the Canadian robotic arm is one of the essential tools on the ISS. The duo were visiting the space station as STS-119 mission specialists aboard space shuttle Discovery.

Their main work involved the latching end of the Canadian-made arm, known as Canadarm2. The arm also can mount itself atop a mobile transporter that runs on rails along the front side of the station's solar power truss to move the arm to various work sites.

This will be the first in the series of three spacewalks scheduled for the month of October, with Bresnik taking the lead in all three.

Linking students directly to astronauts aboard the space station provides unique, authentic experiences created to enhance student learning, performance and interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The second spacewalk is scheduled for October 10, and the third for October 18. While this will be the first-ever spacewalk of the latter, it will mark the third one of Bresnik.

The station has a spare LEE stored outside the ISS, which the astronauts retrieved to make the fix.

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

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