What a waste of $$$$

Author Subject: What a waste of $$$$
chuckster Posted At 08:30:04 07/16/2001
Space Station Has New $164 Million Air

By Broward Liston

CAPE CANAVERAL (Reuters) - The
International Space Station (news - web
sites) sported a new $164 million air lock
on Sunday thanks to a pair a space-walking
astronauts and their robot helpers.

Astronauts Michael Gernhardt and James
Really worked outside the orbiting space
station, while another pair of astronauts --
Susan Helms on the space station and Janet
Kava on the space shuttle Atlantis --
manipulated two robotic arms in a six-hour operation to install the air

Helms used the station's Canadian-built Big Arm, a 58-footmulti-jointed
grappling tool, to hoist the 6-1/2 ton air lock from the payload bay on
Atlantis and deliver it to its new home on the hull of the space station
module Unity.

It was a milestone not only for the Canadian robot, but also for the
space station itself, which now has the ability to actively participate in its
own construction.

``The International Space Station reached into the Atlantis payload bay,
using its own arm, and pulled a cargo element out and installed it,'' said
Paul Hill, the mission's lead flight director. ``And voila! The station has a
brand new module.''

The arm stalled several times during run-throughs leading to Sunday's
operation. NASA (news - web sites) and the Canadian Space Agency
(news - web sites) said the problem was software and should not recur.

Helms commanded the arm from a science station in the U.S. laboratory
module, Destiny, guided by video. Aboard Atlantis, Kava used the
shuttle's smaller arm to move the spacewalkers around like a cherry
picker on the construction site, more than 230 miles above Earth.

Gernhardt and Really were running about an hour behind schedule as
they started the first of three spacewalks planned for the mission. They
made short work of the assembly, shaving 61 minutes off the estimated
work time.

Gernhardt summed up the experience of working with large objects
while in zero gravity as he wrestled with a thermal covering for the air
lock. ``It's like wrapping a 12-foot alligator and tying it with a 20-foot
snake, but I think I got it under control,'' he said.

The spacewalkers freed the disk-shaped air lock from its moorings to
the shuttle and added a number of fixtures and handrails to its exterior
once it was installed.

Until this mission, spacewalkers have only exited the station through air
locks on the space shuttle. Now the crews, who live for months at a
time on the station, will be able to make spacewalks when no shuttle is
docked there.

The air lock is the first with umbilical
connections for both Russian and U.S.
spacesuits. The $95 billion space station
program is a joint project of space agencies
in the United States, Russia, Europe and

Atlantis arrived at the station late on Friday
after its launch from Florida's Kennedy Space Center (news - web
sites) on Thursday.

The Atlantis crew is led by Steven Lindsey, a U.S. Air Force lieutenant
colonel, making his third flight but his first in command. He is joined by
rookie pilot Charles Hobaugh, a Marine Corps major, and Kava, the
flight engineer making her third flight. Gernhardt and Really round out
the crew.

The three astronauts living on the space station are Russian Yury
Usachev and Americans James Voss and Helms.

NASA decided on Sunday that it will return a spacesuit contaminated
by a leaking battery to Earth rather than leave it on the space station as
planned. On Friday, the Atlantis astronauts discovered a two-inch (5
cm) ``blob'' that ground controllers believe was potassium hydroxide
from the suit's battery.

NASA ordered a full toxic materials response, with astronauts donning
protective gloves, wiping down the area with wet towels, bagging the
battery and sealing up the suit.
Hal Re: What a waste of $$$$ (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 09:32:23 07/16/2001

Can we keep this board to work comp issues please. If you have a beef concerning government spending, find another board to vent your frustration.
tim Re: What a waste of $$$$ (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 16:16:41 07/16/2001

They should use the money for workers, instead of 3-4 people to play.
tim Re: What a waste of $$$$ (Currently 0 replies)
Posted At 16:17:27 07/16/2001

They should use the money for workers, instead of 3-4 people to play.

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