Spacewalkers take on fix-up chores in orbit

Image: Spacewalkers
Spacewalkers Jeff Williams and Kate Rubins make their way around the International Space Station as solar panels shimmer in the sunlight. (Credit: NASA TV)

NASA astronauts Jeff Williams and Kate Rubins ventured outside the International Space Station today for the second time in two weeks and worked their way down a long to-do list.

The top task was accomplished early: Williams used a power tool to retract the folding panels of a 44-foot-long thermal radiator that was no longer needed. The assembly, known as the Trailing Thermal Control Radiator, is now tucked away as a spare.

Williams also installed two enhanced high-definition television cameras that will provide sharper views of Earth and the space station, including the comings and goings of visiting cargo and crew vehicles. Meanwhile, Rubins inspected and tightened the bolts on a joint that enables one of the station’s solar arrays to rotate.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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