NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 30 March 2017 - Lost Thermal Shield, No Problem, Mission Controllers Improvise

Spacewalk support personnel quickly teamed up for a solution to cover the Tranquility module’s port after a thermal and micrometeoroid shield was inadvertently lost during today’s spacewalk. The team supporting EVA Officer John Mularski explored options in a room nearby Mission Control, and chose to install a cover that had been removed earlier from the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3. Credit: NASA.

Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson of NASA concluded their spacewalk at 2:33 p.m. EDT.

During the spacewalk, which lasted just over seven hours, the two astronauts successfully reconnected cables and electrical connections on the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3. PMA-3 will provide the pressurized interface between the station and the second of two international docking adapters to be delivered to the complex to support the dockings of U.S. commercial crew spacecraft in the future.

The duo were also tasked with installing four thermal protection shields on the Tranquility module of the International Space Station. The shields were required to cover the port where the PMA-3 was removed earlier in the week and robotically installed on the Harmony module. During the spacewalk, one of the shields was inadvertently lost. The loss posed no immediate danger to the astronauts and Kimbrough and Whitson went on to successfully install the remaining shields on the common berthing mechanism port.

A team from the Mission Control Center at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston devised a plan for the astronauts to finish covering the port with the PMA-3 cover Whitson removed earlier in the day. The plan worked, and the cover was successfully installed, providing thermal protection and micrometeoroid and orbital debris cover for the port.

To round out the spacewalk, Kimbrough and Whitson also installed a different shield around the base of the PMA-3 adapter for micrometeoroid protection. The shield was nicknamed a cummerbund as it fits around the adapter similar to a tuxedo's cummerbund worn around the waist.

Having completed her eighth spacewalk, Whitson now holds the record for the most spacewalks and accumulated time spacewalking by a female astronaut.

Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 1,243 hours and 42 minutes outside the station during 199 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory.

On-Orbit Status Report

U.S. Extravehicular Activity (EVA) #41: EV1 Kimbrough and EV2 Whitson completed the following tasks during today's 7 hour 3 minute External (EXT) Enhanced Processor and Integrated Communications (EPIC) Multiplexer/Demultiplexer (MDM) / Shields Installation EVA. During the final translation back to the airlock, Whitson's Helmet Light Assembly came loose from her helmet. Kimbrough was able to tether to a bracket on the assembly, disconnect the electrical connections, and fully remove the Helmet Light Assembly to assist in ingress.

Planned Tasks

PMA3 Connect
PMA3 Cover Removal
Node 3 Axial Shields Install
Forward Zenith, Forward Nadir, Forward Aft were completed.
During preparation for install, one of four of the axial shields was lost. The Aft Zenith location was shielded with the PMA3 cover. The lost shield is forward of ISS with a retrograde component and there is good confidence that it will phase out of the ISS plane.
PMA 3 Cummerbunds Install
Get-ahead Task

N2 Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM) Inspection and partial cleaning
Took photos of contamination sites #4 and #38
Cleaned contamination at site #4 and took post cleaning photos
Mobile Servicing System: The Robotics Ground Controllers powered up the MSS and used the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) for video support of the EVA #41. The Ground Controllers then maneuvered the SSRMS to a stow configuration which also provided additional views for the Node 2 Nadir Common Berth Mechanism (CBM) cleaning activity. MSS performance was nominal.

Sally Ride Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle Schools (EarthKAM): This morning the crew successfully installed and activated the EarthKAM payload in the Node 2 nadir hatch window. Science operations using the EarthKAM setup will begin next week, marking the beginning of the 57th EarthKAM mission. This session includes over 200 schools in more than 50 countries around the world and is scheduled to last through April 9. This is a NASA education program that enables thousands of students to photograph and examine Earth from a space crew's perspective. Using the Internet, the students control a special digital camera mounted on-board the ISS. This enables them to photograph the Earth's coastlines, mountain ranges and other geographic items of interest from the unique vantage point of space. The team at Sally Ride EarthKAM then posts these photographs on the Internet for the public and participating classrooms around the world to view.

Today's Planned Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.

LAB BelAir Wireless Access Points (WAPs) Powerdown and Disconnect
ISS HAM Radio and Video Power Down
EVA COTS UHF Communication Unit (CUCU) Verify off
USOS Window Shutter Close
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) In-Suit Light Exercise (ISLE) Preparation
Internal Audio Subsystem (IAS) Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Communication Configuration
EarthKAM Node 2 Setup and Activation-Russian
ISS Crew departure preparation
PROBIOVIT Experiment Ops
Filling Water Container No.3
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Purge
Hardware prepack for return and disposal on Soyuz 732
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) In-Suit Light Exercise (ISLE) Prebreathe
Crewlock Depress
Crewlock Egress
EPIC MDM Remove and Replace
PMA3 Connections
PMA3 Cover Removal
Node 3 Axial Shields Install
Video Recording of Greetings
Download of BRI log from RSS1
PILOT-T. Preparation for the experiment
Hardware prepack for return and disposal on Soyuz 732
PILOT-T. Experiment Ops
PMA3 Cummerbunds Install
Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Get Ahead Tasks
CONTENT. Experiment Ops
Crewlock Ingress
EVA Glove Photo Setup
Crewlock Repress
Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) Post-EVA Activities
Internal Audio Subsystem (IAS) EVA Communication Deconfiguration
EVA Glove Photo Downlink
Photo/TV EVA Camera Disassembly
Crew Discretionary Event
Metal Oxide (METOX) Regeneration Initiation
Photo/TV Extravehicular Activity (EVA) GoPro Downlink
LAB BelAir Wireless Access Point (WAP) Connect Power Cable and Power ON

Completed Task List Items

Ground Activities
All activities were completed unless otherwise noted.
EVA #41 support
EXT MDM Checkout

Three-Day Look Ahead:
Friday, 03/31: Crew departure prep, EVA debrief/cleanup
Saturday, 04/01: Crew off duty, housekeeping
Sunday, 04/02: Crew off duty

QUICK ISS Status - Environmental Control Group:
Component - Status
Elektron - On
Vozdukh - Manual
[СКВ] 1 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV1") - Off
[СКВ] 2 - SM Air Conditioner System ("SKV2") - On
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Lab - Standby
Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) Node 3 - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Lab - Operate
Major Constituent Analyzer (MCA) Node 3 - Standby
Oxygen Generation Assembly (OGA) - Process
Urine Processing Assembly (UPA) - Reprocess
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Lab - Off
Trace Contaminant Control System (TCCS) Node 3 - Full Up

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