Astronauts use toothbrush to fix space station

September 6th, 2012 - 4:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Sep 6 (IANS) NASA astronaut Sunita Williams and her Japanese colleague Akihiko Hoshide were finally able to install a power unit on the International Space Station Wednesday during their second spacewalk. They used tools made out of a toothbrush.

The astronauts fulfilled their main task to complete the installation of a new Main Bus Switching Unit (MBSU) on the station’s truss, which had caused problems during an Aug 30 spacewalk, reported RIA Novosti.

Williams and Hoshide used tools made out of a toothbrush and some spare parts to conduct the repair. They also installed a camera on the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2, during the spacewalk that lasted 6 hours and 28 minutes, according to NASA.

Last time NASA Flight Engineer Williams and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Flight Engineer Hoshide spent 8 hours and 17 minutes in space, but failed to install a new MBSU on the station’s S0 truss as they had difficulties driving a bolt to secure the equipment.

The MBSU is a heavy component that is used to relay power from the station’s solar arrays to its systems.

Williams and Hoshide’s previous spacewalk was the third longest in history. The longest spacewalk, of 8 hours and 56 minutes, was carried out by US astronauts Susan Helms and James Voss in 2001.

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