Christmas Eve spacewalk repairs broken cooling system at the International Space Station

STS-131 EVA1 Rick Mastracchio 2

STS-131 EVA1 Rick Mastracchio 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

7 days and counting left on the Janus Project.  Fresh from my swim in the sea in the annual fancy-dress dip, I wonder what thoughts go through the minds of the astronauts on the International Space Station, especially on a celebratory day like this when they are so far away from family and friends.

 

Space Walk

Christmas Eve in space,
a cooling pump to be replaced
in a blizzard-walk of ammonia flakes,
cocooned in bulbous girth.

Christmas Eve in space,
gazing down on the human race,
symbiotes on the carapace
of the home called planet earth.

Christmas Eve in space,
our fragility is faced.
How much time left on that place
that fostered Mankind’s birth?

 

24th December 2013 – headline from the Independent

Notes:  “Christmas Eve spacewalk repairs broken cooling system at the International Space Station.”  Space station astronauts have repaired a crippled cooling system during a rare Christmas Eve spacewalk, braving a “mini blizzard” of toxic ammonia as they installed a new pump.  It was the second spacewalk in four days to be undertaken by US astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Michael Hopkins and took 7.5 hours to complete.  “It’s the best Christmas ever,” Mission Control radioed as the spacewalk came to a close.  The astronauts removed the faulty ammonia pump during Saturday’s spacewalk, before installing a new pump yesterday.  Standing on the end of the station’s main robotic arm, Mr Hopkins clutched the 780lb, refrigerator-size pump with both hands as he headed toward its installation spot, and then slid it in.  An astronaut working inside, Japan’s Koichi Wakata, steered the arm. The operation took longer to complete because of a faulty ammonia fluid line that sent frozen flakes of the extremely toxic substance straight at the men, Mission Control said.

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One thought on “Christmas Eve spacewalk repairs broken cooling system at the International Space Station

  1. Pingback: Contemplation by Jack Saunsea | Contemplation Center

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