CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Spacewalking astronauts have triumphed over a stubborn bolt.
Japanese spaceman Akihiko Hoshide successfully drove the bolt all the way home Wednesday, after cleaning out the socket with homemade tools. That paved the way for the installation of a critical power-switching box.
Hoshide and American Sunita Williams spent last week’s spacewalk struggling with the bolt. They ventured back out Wednesday to finish the job. Mission Control burst into applause when the pair finally succeeded.
The space station’s electrical system was compromised by the missing power-routing unit, one of four on the orbiting lab. Flight controllers worked throughout the Labor Day weekend to come up with the repair plan.
Williams is now the world’s most experienced female spacewalker. She broke the record during Wednesday’s spacewalk.