Science

Williams completes her 5th spacewalk

| | Updated on: Aug 31, 2012
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Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams and her Japanese colleague, who ventured outside the International Space Station to perform maintenance tasks, have failed to bolt a new power-switching unit into place outside their home in orbit.

During the spacewalk, 46-year-old Sunita Williams and Japanese flight engineer Akihiko Hoshide were “unable to install a new Main Bus Switching Unit (MBSU) on the International Space Station’s s-zero truss”, American space agency NASA said today.

After removing and stowing the failed unit, they had difficulties driving the bolts to secure the replacement switching unit in the s-zero truss, the agency said, adding they used a long-duration tie-down tether to secure the replacement MBSU to the space station for a future spacewalk.

Yesterday’s spacewalk was supposed to last six and half hours but stretched past eight hours.

Prior to this task, Sunita Williams was able to successfully connect one of two power cables in preparation for the future arrival of a Russian laboratory module. The third objective, replacing a camera on the Canadarm2 robotic arm was also not completed.

This is the fifth spacewalk undertaken by her.

Sunita Williams along with Hoshide and Yuri Malenchenko of Russia left for the ISS aboard a Russian spacecraft Soyuz TMA-05M on July 15 from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Sunita Williams, who was a flight engineer on the station’s Expedition 32 crew, became commander of Expedition 33 after reaching the space station.

She was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 1998. She was assigned to the International Space Station as a member of Expedition 14 and then joined Expedition 15.

Sunita Williams holds the record of the longest spaceflight (195-day) for female space travellers.

Published on March 12, 2018

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