Astro­nauts set up TV cam­eras:

Dis­cov­ery

Arab Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Feustel

Arnold

Space­walk­ing astro­nauts worked to set up TV cam­eras Thurs­day for new crew cap­sules set to ar­rive in com­ing months.

Once out­side the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion, com­man­der Drew Feustel strug­gled to re­move a pro­tec­tive cover in or­der to dis­con­nect an old cable and hook up a new one for the new cam­eras. He used a small crow­bar and noted if “I had more hands” the job would be eas­ier.

His space­walk­ing part­ner, Ricky Arnold, floated over to help. Be­tween the two of them, the astro­nauts man­aged to com­plete the ini­tial cable work.

“Fan­tas­tic job,” Mis­sion Con­trol ra­dioed. But the astro­nauts soon en­coun­tered more snags, slow­ing them down.

Their main task is to in­stall two high­def­i­ni­tion TV cam­eras, meant to pro­vide sharp views of com­mer­cial crew cap­sules com­ing in to dock.

Un­til SpaceX and Boe­ing start fly­ing astro­nauts, NASA must rely solely on Rus­sian cap­sules for get­ting to and from the 250-mile-high out­post. The Rus­sians rides are cost­ing NASA up to $82 mil­lion per per­son.

NASA hasn’t launched astro­nauts into space from US soil since the last shut­tle flight in 2011. SpaceX and Boe­ing are aim­ing for test flights from Cape Canaveral, Florida, by year’s end.

The ten­ta­tive sched­ule shows flights with­out a crew by both com­pa­nies in late sum­mer fol­lowed by launches with astro­nauts by De­cem­ber. But those dates are con­sid­ered op­ti­mistic by many. (AP)

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