DATE 2021 Mar 14Spacewalk Addresses ARISS Equipment Issue
International Space Station Expedition 64 U.S. Spacewalk #73 to Continue Station Upgrades took place on Saturday, March 13 beginning at approximately 12:30z. Astronaunts Victor Glover, KI5BKC, and Mike Hopkins, KF5LJG, undertook a number of tasks left incomplete when a previous spacewalk had to be terminated early.
One of those tasks was a re-connection of four cables on the Bartolomao platform which is attached to the Columbus Module of the space station. Columbus is the home of the primary ARISS amateur radio station, which is used for school contacts and other ARISS activities.
After an extended effort to complete some cable connections on the Bartolomao platform, Hopkins moved on to the ARISS VHF/UHF antenna on the “Earth side” of the Columbus Module at approximately 18:15z, roughly five hours into the spacewalk, and successfully removed a jumper cable between Columbus and the antenna. Hopkins raised a question concerning a sharp bend in the cable near the connector. However, no adjustments were possible.
Because NASA safety protocols require the ARISS radios to be powered down during spacewalks, there will be no opportunity to check the success of the cable re-configurations until Sunday, March 14. The Columbus Module ARISS radios are expected to be powered up in the VHF packet mode at about 12:00z on that day.
-My earlier screenshot courtesy of NASA TV. And Frank Bauer KA3HDO, ARISS International Chair, supplied the media alert. THAT was TRUE "reality TV!"