Monday, September 5, 2016

Expedition 48 Ending on a High Note

ISS Commander Jeff Williams installing new High-Definition Camera. Credit: NASA.

Ending on a high note, indeed. Beyond the atmosphere high. On Thursday September 1st, Expedition 48 commander Jeff Williams, assisted by flight engineer Kate Rubins, exited the Quest airlock and began a 6-hour, 48-minute EVA outside the ISS. Their mission was to install the first new high-definition camera on the Truss, and tighten bolts on a solar array joint. The EVA makes 5 spacewalks for Williams and the second for Rubins. In fact, they had just performed another EVA just 13 days earlier.

Difference between old camera and new.

Before the camera installation, the two astronauts worked on retracting the  TTCR radiation cooling array. Once it was collapsed and secured, a cover was put over the panels so it can be stored for a while, acting as backup in case it is needed. Then the camera was retrieved from the airlock, and they installed it on the P1 Truss at camera Point 9. While Williams finished the camera installation, Rubins moved over to one of the giant solar panel joints to tighten several of the bolts. Cameras had noticed vibration before this on some of the panel movements.

With the end of the EVA, the astronauts now begin preparing for the return of Expedition 48 to Earth on September 6, and the beginning of Expedition 49.

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