US spacewalkers begin repair of aging ISS robotic arm

October 5, 2017
The Canadarm2 robotic arm is poised to grab the unmanned SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule in this NASA TV video grab from June 5, 201
The Canadarm2 robotic arm is poised to grab the unmanned SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule in this NASA TV video grab from June 5, 2017

Two NASA astronauts embarked on a spacewalk Thursday to repair the International Space Station's aging robotic arm, the US space agency said.

The outing by Americans Randy Bresnik and Mark Vande Hei began at 8:05 am (1205 GMT) when the duo switched their bulky white space suits to battery power before floating out of the airlock.

The two men will focus on removing and replacing the latching end of the Canadian-made arm, known as Canadarm2.

The 57.7 foot-long (18 meter) arm was instrumental in assembling the and is used to reach out and grab approaching cargo ships.

The has been a key piece of equipment at the orbiting outpost for more than 16 years, but has recently lost its ability to grip effectively.

NASA wants to restore its full capability before the next US cargo ship arrives next month, carrying supplies for the six astronauts living in orbit.

The spacewalk is expected to last about six and a half hours.

It is the first of three scheduled spacewalks this month, aimed at repairing and maintaining various equipment outside the ISS, and the 203rd spacewalk in the history of the space station.

Explore further: Spacewalking French, US astronauts to upgrade orbiting lab

Related Stories

Spacewalk a success for French, US astronauts

March 24, 2017

A French and an American astronaut floated outside the International Space Station Friday on a successful spacewalk to upgrade the orbiting outpost for the arrival of future space crews.

Recommended for you

Tracking the interstellar object 'Oumuamua to its home

September 25, 2018

A team of astronomers led by Coryn Bailer-Jones of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy has tracked the interstellar object 'Oumuamua to several possible home stars. The object was discovered in late 2017 – this was the ...

Dust storms on Titan spotted for the first time

September 25, 2018

Data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft has revealed what appear to be giant dust storms in equatorial regions of Saturn's moon Titan. The discovery, described in a paper published on Sept. 24 in Nature Geoscience, makes Titan ...

Four extremely young asteroid families identified

September 25, 2018

Four families of extremely young asteroids have been identified by researchers affiliated with São Paulo State University (UNESP) in Guaratinguetá, Brazil. An article on the discovery has been published in Monthly Notices ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.