Some NASA astronauts have affixed a brand new docking port onto the ISS.
Private space firms such as SpaceX and Blue Origin are making forays into commercial flights into the final frontier. As for the ISS, it is expected to receive much in the way of heavy traffic in the ensuing years.
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Yet, before all this is possible, the ISS must have some parking space to accommodate the spacecraft that happen to find their way to its door. That is why yesterday two NASA astronauts installed a novel docking port on the ISS.
This formally ends the United States’ sole reliance upon the Russians for conveyance to and from the ISS. Two astronauts, Jeff Williams and Kate Rubins, engaged in a spacewalk outside the ISS for the worthy purpose of attaching the first of two docking adapters to it.
The time this task took was five hours and 58 minutes. The second docking adapter will be sent to be affixed on the ISS next year. Williams happens to be the head of the half a dozen strong crew of the ISS.
He has performed spacewalks some four odd times in his tenure as a seasoned astronaut. As for Rubins, this was her first time on a spacewalk, according to Space.com.
The docking adapter had been constructed thanks to the Boeing Corporation. It took two hours to tie it down close to the ISS. It is one meter in height and 1.6 meters in width.
After the installation, the robotic machinery accomplished the rest of the necessary procedure. This operation makes the docking adapter a permanent fixture of the ISS. Data and power lines were assembled by Williams and Rubins too. Sharing will be a possibility thanks to this scheme.
The ISS now has a novel port of call, as it stood stationary over Singapore. This installation marks an important step in the establishment of commercial flights to and from the ISS.
The novel adapters will function in synch with SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner. This new adapter is a far cry from previous versions.
Not only is it much more special in its structural-functional setup, it also opens the doors to automatic parking at the ISS. Rubins and Williams will be performing another spacewalk at the beginning of the month of September.
It will be done in order to de-install a solar array cooling panel which has become defunct. Also a TV camera will get installed outside the ISS.
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