CAPE CANAVERAL: Nasa astronauts took another spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Tuesday, this time to grease the robot arm’s new hand.

Commander Randy Bresnik ventured out for the second time in less than a week, along with Mark Vande Hei.

The pair replaced the latching mechanism on one end of the 58-foot robot arm on Thursday. The mechanism malfunctioned in August.

Tuesday’s work involved using a grease gun, which resembles a caulking gun, to keep the latching mechanism working smoothly. The two-part lube job is expected to spill into next week, in a third spacewalk.

 

These latches, or hands, are located on each end of the Canadian-built robot arm. They’re used to grab arriving US cargo ships and also allow the robot arm to move around the orbiting lab.

Launched in 2001 with the rest of the robot arm, the original latches were showing their age. Nasa plans to replace the latching mechanism on the opposite end of the arm early next year.

Published in Dawn, October 11th, 2017

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