Spacewalk Likely Needed to Fix ISS Coolant System
NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio, STS-131 mission specialist, participates in the mission's first session of extravehicular activity (EVA) on April 9, 2010, as construction and maintenance continued on the International Space Station. Mastracchio's spacewalking skills may be needed again to repair the space station's coolant system.
Col. Chris Hadfield relinquished command of the International Space Station on May 13 and retired from his Canadian Space Agency astronaut career of 21 years. With his boundless passion for sharing his experiences with the world, it seemed that the Ontario native spent a lot more than 5 months in orbit. On Tuesday,Discovery News announced that Hadfield is our DNews Person of the Year
as he was able to communicate what it's like to live in space through a myriad of social media platforms, ultimately inspiring the public by his very unique experiences. Here are just a few of his most memorable moments from his final mission into space: Expedition 35.NEWS: Chris Hadfield: DNews Person Of The Year
Seen here on Dec. 21, 2012, Hadfield arrives at the space station, greeted by Russian cosmonauts Evgeny Tarelkin and Oleg Novitskiy.
Liquid water in microgravity is a lot of fun, a fact that Chris Hadfield took to heart during his residency on the space station. Shown here, Hadfield is pictured in the obligatory space-water-globule-in-front-of-an-astronaut's-face pose.
Speaking of water, Hadfield used the microgravity opportunity to teach the world a little about how common tasks on the ground bear little resemblance to the same tasks performed in space. As part of a student competition, Hadfield tested the winning experiment suggestion: wringing out a wet washcloth in space. Few would have guessed what happened next...VIDEO: What Happens When You Wring a Washcloth in Orbit?
On March 28, the new space station commander took this stunning photo of a launching Russian Soyuz rocket as the station passed over Kazakhstan. Hadfieldtweeted this photo
with the words: "Tonight's Finale: Soyuz Rocket Launch — the moment of ignition, as seen from their target, the Space Station." On board the Soyuz was the remaining Expedition 35 crew: NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Misurkin and Pavel Vinogradov.ANALYSIS: Astronauts Get Epic View of Launching Soyuz
Cementing his fame in spaceflight history, Chris Hadfield (with the help of his friends and family on the ground) became the first person to produce a music video in space: a cover of David Bowie's classic "Space Oddity."Space Oddity: Astronaut Ends Mission With Music Video
But it wasn't all about social media, playing music and admiring the sights -- the vast majority of the time Hadfield was working on experiments and managing the complex orbiting laboratory. Seen here, the Canadian astronaut is a lab guinea pig, participating in the Blood Pressure Regulation Experiment (BP Reg) -- one of the many medical experiments that are essential in learning how the human physiology reacts to long-duration spaceflight.
On March 3, Hadfield oversaw the successful berthing of the robotic SpaceX Dragon resupply vehicle, using the space station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to grab onto the second commercial delivery to the orbiting outpost. Coincidentally, Hadfield first rose to fame when, in 2001, he became the first Canadian to carry out a spacewalk, helping to install that same Canadarm2.PHOTOS: Astronaut Guide: How to Train Your Dragon
In May, space station business got serious when the astronauts discovered an ammonia leak from the coolant system. Outside, the crew could see flakes of the coolant floating off into space. As space station commander, Hadfield helped formulate a plan to find a fix, eventually overseeing a dramatic emergency spacewalk by NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn. After the suspected faulty ammonia pump was replaced, Hadfield tweeted: "No leaks! We’re bringing Tom & Chris back inside. In two days Tom, Roman & I return to Earth in our Soyuz. This is an amazing place & time."NEWS: Astronauts Fix Mystery Space Station Leak
Like most astronauts who spend time on the space station, photography becomes more than just a hobby; the views afforded to us on the ground by the astronauts in orbit have given us a very privileged view over our planet. At his estimate, Hadfield took around 45,000 photos while in space, each one a gem. Here is Hadfield in the station's windowed cupola where many of the most breathtaking shots were made possible.
On Feb 7, Hadfieldtweeted this strange feature
: "The Taranaki Volcano looks too perfect to be real. pic.twitter.com/3b5fr4IQ"
On April 14, Chris Hadfield posted this odd view of a Brazilian river, lightheartedly tweeting: "I'm used to rivers that know what they're doing. pic.twitter.com/41iOcuZmth" The meandering form of the river is created through many years, decades and centuries of erosion, creating isolated Oxbow Lakes as each meander gets cut off.
While orbiting Earth, Hadfield developed a feeling of "oneness" -- a sentiment that was underscored when he reflected on a photo he took of Syria. During a videoed interview, Hadfield commented on the Syrian conflict, saying: "If people, I think, could see the perspective more clearly... (they would glean) that understanding of the fact that we're all in this together. Yes, there's important territorial issues and important personal issues but at the same time with increased communication and with increased understanding comes a more global perspective,"
Chris Hadfield also captured some cool geological events from orbit, including an eruption of the Italian Mt. Etna on Feb. 28.PHOTO: Astronaut Snaps Photo of Mount Etna Erupting
A cooling system malfunction on the International Space Station has delayed the planned launch of a private cargo ship to the orbiting laboratory this week as engineers discuss whether astronauts will have to perform a spacewalk repair on the outpost.
The station's problems began last week, when a control valve in one of the station's cooling pumps malfunctioned, requiring the shutdown of some support systems for the orbiting outpost. The problem does not threaten the safety of the six astronauts currently living aboard the space station, NASA officials said, but fixing it is a high priority.
NASA engineers spent the weekend analyzing the glitch. Meanwhile, the private spaceflight company Orbital Sciences Corp. pushed back the planned Dec. 18 launch of its commercial Cygnus spacecraft by at least 24 hours. The Cygnus is now slated to launch Thursday, Dec. 19, at 9:19 p.m. EST (0219 Dec. 20 GMT) from Wallops Island, Va., to deliver cargo to the International Space Station. [Private Rocket Launch Visible from US East Coast on Dec. 19: Visibility Maps (Gallery )]
Space station astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Michael Hopkins may need to make a series of spacewalks beginning Thursday to replace the affected cooling pump, officials said. The astronauts tried on their NASA-built spacesuits today (Dec. 16) to prepare for the potential in-orbit repair job.
If necessary, the spacewalks would delay the launch of aerospace firm Orbital Sciences' unmanned Cygnus spacecraft, which is currently slated to blast off on its first contracted cargo run to the space station on Thursday evening. However, no final decisions have been made about what will happen Thursday.
"The International Space Station Program continues to keep both options on the table pending further engineering analysis and troubleshooting efforts on the station’s cooling system," NASA officials wrote in an update on Sunday (Dec. 15).
Meanwhile, Orbital Sciences' Cygnus team is continuing to prepare for an on-time launch, loading the final cargo into the spacecraft. If NASA gives the go-ahead, rollout of Orbital's Antares rocket to the pad at the space agency's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia will occur early Tuesday morning (Dec. 17), company officials said.
Virginia-based Orbital Sciences holds a $1.9 billion NASA contract to make eight robotic supply runs to the space station with Cygnus and Antares. Thursday's scheduled launch would initiate the first of these eight missions, though Cygnus did launch on a successful demonstration flight to the the orbiting lab in September.
Orbital isn't the only private firm with a NASA cargo deal. California-based SpaceX signed a $1.6 billion contract to make 12 flights with its Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 rocket. The company has successfully completed two of these contracted missions already, with the third slated to blast off early next year.
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