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back to article Space Jam: stripped bolt bugs spacewalkers

If you messed up a do-it-yourself job around your home over the weekend, you're in good company: a new power switching unit at the International Space Station has had to be tethered and left partly-fitted, after a jammed bolt led to the spacewalking electricians abandoning their installation attempt. The spacewalk was scheduled …

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Araldite's ...

... in t'second drawer, luv.

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Headmaster

Bolts eh?

While i am aware bolts are the workhorse of the fastening industry world wide and nothing will ever supplant them, it makes me wonder why they are used in this case?

I would think those "T" shaped pins that are pushed through a slot/hole combination, turned 90 degrees to fasten into a slight resess to capture the protruding pin would have been a better fit for this purpose. It would drastically cut down on EVA time as installation and removal take only seconds, are just as secure as bolts and more forgiving of alignment issues. You often find them made from plastic in some childrens toys that require basic assembly.

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Silver badge

Re: Bolts eh?

You mean Dzus fasteners? Not a good idea for the temperature extremes seen in space ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bolts eh?

Perhaps you should be emailing NASA - I'm sure they have a department eager to respond to informed suggestions like yours

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Facepalm

They ought to pack a roll of duct tape for times like this.

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Or at least a can of WD-40! Regular can, *not* the spray cans!

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Pint

Obligatory toolbox essentials comment

If it moves and it's not supposed to - Duct Tape

If it doesn't move and it's supposed to - WD-40

The pint is, of course, for afterwards to celebrate a job well done.

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Re: Obligatory toolbox essentials comment

You forgot the bailing wire and chewing gum.

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Re: Obligatory toolbox essentials comment

Question is, do they have beer of any sort on the space station? I'm not holding out much hope that they've got anything that CAMRA would approve of.

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Pint

Re: CAMRA

...unless it's the CAMpaign for Relativistic Ale.

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Bronze badge

Re: Obligatory toolbox essentials comment

And don't forget - if it leaks, copious amounts of silicon sealant.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Pint

Re: Obligatory toolbox essentials comment

Question is, do they have beer of any sort on the space station?

If I'm not mistaken, there's whisky (in the making) on board at the moment.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Obligatory toolbox essentials comment

No WD40 in space, pretty sure it would freeze to everything it touched...

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Boffin

Re: Obligatory toolbox essentials comment

"I always carry a Swiss Army Knife and a coil of wire"

-- Agatha Heterodyne

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Obligatory toolbox essentials comment

I'm from Birmingham and if it's stuck we 'its it wiv an ommer.

Wats an ommer?

Anyfing big enuff to 'it fings wiv

An' doan talk to me about zero gravity, you shouldda sin this place yesterday.

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Headmaster

Re: Obligatory toolbox essentials comment

Can't let that pass.

That's a line given to Agatha in the Heterodynamic Radio Theatre play; "Revenge of the Weasel Queen", not a direct quote.

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Re: Obligatory toolbox essentials comment

OK, it's not a direct quote from a fictional character, it's a direct quote from a fictional version of that fictional character ...

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Coat

Natural consequence

of trying to work in gloves

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Anonymous Coward

Cap'n!

I'll haf t' reroute the power through the secondary conduits and back to the transporter module!

You'll haf to be quick though, or we'll burn through the dilithium crystals!

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Bronze badge

So they can't secure the payload?

Sounds like a job for an inanimate carbon rod to me.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: So they can't secure the payload?

You owe me a keyboard sir/madam!

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Alien

Some nut out there...

Loose bolts can be a costly exercise. Not too long ago one of the reactors at our one & only nuclear power plant was damaged beyond repair because someone had neglected to apply a spanner properly and a loose bolt fell into the works.

Them astronauts.... If they waited long enough, that bag of space tools from one of the previous missions would have orbited by and they could have just grabbed a shifting spanner from there*.

<<< I hope all the bolts on Mars are securely fitted. (I.e., work was not done by my local mechanic).

* It may have "de-orbited" by now (I.e. fallen to the ground in pre-space-age terminology).

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Facepalm

Re: Some nut out there...

Sorry to be pedantic, but... That would be the GENERATOR, not the reactor. The nearest city would have been uninhabitable if the reactor had been damaged beyond repair. From what I understand, it took Areva six months to ship a new rotor due to lack of capacity to build a new one.

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Linux

Re: Some nut out there...

"at our one & only nuclear power plant was damaged beyond repair because someone had neglected to apply a spanner properly......"

Homer Simpson????????

Mr Burns is not going to be happy!

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FAIL

Re: Some nut out there...nuclear power plant was damaged beyond repair

Don't feel bad, you are not alone:

http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/energy/officials-must-decide-if-crystal-river-nuclear-plant-is-needed/1249178

A perfect example of why it is better to leave complicated repairs to the experts.

BTW, Progress Energy was merged into Duke Energy recently. The original plan was for the Progress CEO to take the CEO position of the merged company. Look what happened to him:

Johnson’s abrupt removal July 2, just hours after Duke closed the merger, is the subject of the probe launched July 6 by the commission and a parallel investigation started by the North Carolina attorney general. (emphasis is mine)

source: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/08/08/3438059/duke-energy-submits-1900-pages.html (para # 7 under 'Early Doubts')

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Bronze badge

I don't know what spec they use for the threads, but I bet they wouldn't have had the same problem with a Whitworth thread.

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Boffin

Thread measurement system is not relevant

There are coarse and fine threads in metric just as much as in imperial systems.

GJC

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Boffin

Two words

Plus gas

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Coat

Overthinking.

If they'd sent a couple of Kwik-fit lads, it would have been done by now.

Sticking bolt? Air hammer with the torque limiter disabled.

They're used to sticking bolts, after all it was them that stuck most of 'em.......

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FAIL

No problem...

Just hammer a couple of shims under the nut until it feels tight and stops rattling.

I mean if it was good enough for the first Tay Bridge ...

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Err.. Wasn't that the one that fell down?

.. according to the excruciating poetry of William McGonnagall.

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay!

Alas! I am very sorry to say

That ninety lives have been taken away

On the last Sabbath day of 1879,

Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

etc..etc..

(it get even worse later)

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Joke

It's only nuts 'n' bolts. Hardly rocket science.

Oh.

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Thumb Up

I don't suppose you can twat it with a hammer in space, can you?

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NASA TV

Just downloaded the app for my playbook, can't wait.

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Mushroom

Damn send em up a variety of zip ties, they fix anything down.

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Boffin

Just get a bigger hammer!

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My Guess

If the bolt won't turn then it's not stripped and if it went 9 turns I don't think it's cross threaded. probably someone's chewing gum in the hole or something

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Angel

I guess

its out with the 'tap and die' set then....

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