Commander Barry ‘Butch’ Wilmore and flight engineer Terry Virts performed the second space walk without any hitches. They did some upgrading jobs which the International Space Station or ISS urgently required. They are preparing to put up more docking ports for commercial crew capsules will use as parking slots at the ISS. Comes 2017, initial test landings are expected to be performed.
Manned space flights have been stopped since NASAs shuttle services were scrapped in 2011. Following it, the United States was left without a spaceship that could ferry astronauts to low orbit satellites.
Boeing is planning to ferry its first astronauts to space using the CST-100 in the latter part of 2017 and followed by SpaceX not long after that.
Wilmore and Virts, according to NASA will step out from ISS via the station airlock complete with their suits powered by an internal battery source. Their camera mounted helmets are meant to record the spacewalking proceedings which has been broadcasted on NASA television and on its website.
The aim of the second spacewalk is to install antennas and the required cables to ensure that there is communications between the arriving and the departing crew ferry capsules.
Additional chores will include routing of two bundles of cables, do lubrication job on the robotic arm and to make ready for another operation in the latter part this year in moving modules around at the orbiting outpost.
Rob Navias, NASA Commentator, said that three hours would be enough to lubricate the robotic arm which was made in Canada, aptly called Canadarm
Half of Wednesday’s spacewalk was performed by Fortyseven-year-old Virts lubricating the screws, brackets and tracks on the end of Canadarm. The snares have become somewhat rusty and raise the motor current. The lubricating job would make the job easier.
Virts radioed, “We’re the cable guys. Now we’re the grease monkeys or I am.” Mission Control replied, “Yep, you guys have a life after NASA. That’s good work”.