NASA’s Expedition 51 crew’s two astronauts will have a brief space walk. This walk will serve the purpose of repairing and replacing a critical computer relay box that failed on Saturday.
According to NASA, the box controls solar arrays, radiators, cooling loops and other functions. It is one of the two boxes in the middle of the football field-length station. The relay box, known as a multiplexer-demultiplexer (MDM). Because each MDM is capable of performing the critical station functions, the crew on the station was never in danger and station operations have not been affected.
However, after the failure Saturday morning, NASA on Sunday gave a green signal. The go-ahead to proceed quickly order will have Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer out in space. It’s unknown why the box failed. Whitson was part of a March 30 spacewalk that upgraded the same data relay box with new software.
Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Jack Fischer of NASA will venture outside the International Space Station. This walk will last for a 2.5-hours. They will begin the works at around 8 a.m. EDT (5:30 p.m. IST), on May 23. NASA will air this spacewalk in its official television. The space agency’s website will start airing this prior to the television by 1.5 hours.
The team will also route commands to other vital station systems. They will also install a pair of antennas to enhance wireless communication.
The spacewalk will be the 201st in support of space station assembly and maintenance. This is also the sixth spacewalk conducted from the Quest airlock this year. In addition to this, the walk is the 10th for Whitson and the second for Fischer.