The International Space Station has had a minor power outage which will be resolved in 2016.
On Friday, the ISS had a very small glitch in its system. It is so small in its nature that it will not be a danger to the lives of the crew on board the ISS. One of the eight power channels has blown a fuse (so to say).
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The rest of the power channels are in A-one condition though, according to NASA. What happened on board the ISS was a messy object lesson in reality.
There was a short circuiting of the paraphernalia connected to the power lines. And thus a gadget that was meant to swap electric currents got tripped as a result. The precautionary measures that had been instituted took over and a substitute channel was found.
None of the astronauts on board seem to be in any danger. But the problem still needs to be solved and a fixing of what is broken is a must. Somewhere among the works is a novel spare part which is direly required. This spare part will have to be sent to the ISS via a rocket from the earth.
Early on in 2016, the spare part will be sent on a SpaceX Falcon 9. And SpaceX has not yet issued any launch dates. Even though the spare part will get delivered on time, the astronauts will have to engage in a spacewalk to fix the broken power line and affix the spare part in its proper place.
This will require some backbreaking work. If it were a fault on earth, it would have been resolved in a jiffy. But in space it is another matter altogether. On earth you either fix the wire or replace it with one recently bought from the hardware store. But in space, things don’t work so smoothly.
In space you either improvise on a technological basis or you wait for the new supplies to arrive from your home planet. And it could be several months before the next mission reaches the ISS.
The spacewalk alone requires five hour peregrinations outside the ISS in the icy cold vacuum of outer space. And it is just the space suit that protects you from exploding like a water balloon in the zero gravity and non-atmospheric conditions of space. Whenever technological problems arise in space, a lot has to be done to fix the issues.
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It is not a walk in the park to find solutions when you are limited by the hostile milieu that you find in the so-called final frontier. And here we are just talking about the ISS. When the Mars missions begin in the future, imagine the difficulty of repairing some technological hitches on the Red Planet.