CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Space station astronauts are taking their second spacewalk in less than a week in hopes of getting a critical power-switching box installed.
A stiff bolt prevented NASA’s Sunita Williams and Japan’s Akihiko Hoshide from properly securing the new unit last Thursday. The problem cut the amount of electrical power available to the International Space Station, and a number of systems had to be turned off.
Williams and Hoshide ventured out Wednesday morning with an assortment of jury-rigged tools to clean the troublesome bolt and its socket. Included in their arsenal: a blue toothbrush and a wire pipe cleaner.
If the spacewalkers cannot plug in the box within four hours, they’ll give up and drag it inside for more extensive repairs.