Monday, August 2, 2010

NASA Plans Emergency Spacewalks to Fix Space Station

The strongest memories of my childhood are of the manned space programs, culminating with the Apollo moon landings. There is the very, very long list of technological spinoffs that the space programs - both manned and unmanned - have provided us, and which form a much larger basis of our modern lives than most of us realize. Most of the medical monitoring technologies we take for granted today were either created first for the manned space programs, or would not have gained the momemtum needed for commercial success without NASA as an early adopter. But even more important, I believe, was the cultural impact of the space program. Today, it both amazes and saddens me that so many people do not appreciate the tremendous social and cultural importance of providing young people with positive role models centered on scientific and technological achievement. This is a job of statesmanship that has been terribly neglected for too many years now.

NASA Plans Emergency Spacewalks to Fix Space Station
By Tariq Malik Managing Editor

NASA is planning a pair of emergency spacewalks to repair the International Space Station after half of its cooling system shut down unexpectedly Saturday, forcing astronauts to power down several systems.

The two repair spacewalks will be performed by American astronauts Doug Wheelock and Tracy Caldwell Dyson and could begin Thursday to replace a pump module in one of the space station's two cooling system loops. Engineers are assessing the spacewalk plans before making a final decision.

"The crew is being informed that replanning for alternate spacewalk activity is underway," NASA officials said in a statement. A spacewalk had already been planned for Thursday for the Wheelock and Caldwell Dyson to upgrade some station systems. READ MORE.

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