[meteorite-list] Cosmonauts Install Meteorite Protection Plates, Discover Evidence of Meteorite Damage

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2007 09:14:18 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <200706071614.JAA15098_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Cosmonauts complete 83rd walk at station
June 7, 2007

CAPE CANAVERAL - The International Space Station has become better
armored against cataclysmic destruction from a micrometeorite that could
pierce the vessel like a bullet.

A pair of spacewalking cosmonauts Wednesday installed 12 meteorite
protection plates during an excursion that was completed without
problems. It was also finished early enough to allow the spacewalkers
time to photograph the plates that will protect about 72 square feet of
the station.

Earlier in the spacewalk, the cosmonauts discovered evidence of
meteorite damage to the space station about the size of a bullet hole
that the panels might have prevented.

The chance of a strike by a pebble-sized meteorite is estimated at 29
percent during the next 10 years, with a six percent chance it will
destroy the station, even with the protective panels.

"It is our biggest risk," Kirk Shireman, deputy manager of NASA's space
station program office at Johnson Space Center in Houston, has said.

Wednesday marked the 83rd spacewalk to construct the
$100 billion station.

After leaving the ISS, Space Station Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and
Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov first mounted an experiment module to gauge
bio-risk in space.

They also installed an ethernet cable, which will allow remote command
of the Russian section of the space station from the U.S. section.

The 12 panels weigh between 15 and 20 pounds and are 2 feet wide by 3
feet tall.

The cosmonauts also noticed that paint flakes came off the space station
and seemed to drift around the station as they worked.
Received on Thu 07 Jun 2007 12:14:18 PM PDT

Help support this free mailing list:

Yahoo MyWeb