NASA’s astronauts at ISS to make parking space for private commercial spacecraft

NASA’s astronauts at ISS to make parking space for private commercial spacecraft

As per plans for next year, private space organizationsSpaceX and Boeing will send the US astronauts to International Space Station. With more groups sharing the ISS with NASA, the space agency has come up with an idea to construct parking area for commercial space organizations.

Astronauts Kate Rubins and Jeff Williams on Friday will be taking a six-and-a-half hour spacewalk to install the first of two International Docking Adapters, which would help CST-100 Starliners and Crew Dragon capsules to connect to the ISS after reaching on the orbit.

The CST-100 Starliners is by Boeing, while Crew Dragon capsules belong to SpaceX. The Canadarm2 robotic arm help Rubins and Williams carry out their work by extracting a docking adapter from the latest SpaceX Dragon resupply capsule. Then the robotic arm would carry the adaptor to the spot where both astronauts would be working.

Presently, Russia is only country that takes astronauts to the ISS. But SpaceX and Boeing are scheduled to send astronauts to the ISS and would join Russia in the task. The Commercial Crew Program will cost NASA less in terms of using crewed spaceflight. Before this spacewalk, Williams has taken three, while Rubins has taken none. William had his first spacewalk in 2000.

“There’s a very coordinated interplay between the external crew outside, Tak on the outside, and the ground doing the commanding”,said ZebScoville, the spacewalk flight director. While the two astronauts would be carrying out spacewalk, Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency will help them from inside the ISS by managing a control panel.

This is going to be this year’s second spacewalk, while first was taken in January by Tim Kopra and Tim Peake as they fixed electrical systems on the ISS. That walk lasted for two hours.


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