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back to article PERIL in ORBIT: ISS leak plugged in FIVE-HOUR spacewalk

International Space Station engineers Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn have plugged the ammonia coolant leak on the orbiting science lab. The pair's successful spacewalk and repair job over the weekend has cleared the way for their crewmates to set off home for Earth tonight. Flight Engineers Cassidy and Marshburn completed …

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Boffin

Five and a half hours!?

I'd have done it in 10 minutes with a roll of duct tape.

Amateurs.

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Re: Five and a half hours!?

It's a good thing neither of them needed to take a shit.

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Re: Five and a half hours!?

You can hold your breath in a vacuum for 10 minutes?

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Also...

http://youtu.be/KaOC9danxNo

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Re: Also...

The best thing about the whole operation was you could watch it all live (I did) on the NASA stream. It was strangely compelling- jobs that we would take for granted (like unscrewing bolts) took on a completely different difficulty.

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Re: Also...

And the regular requests from mission control for 'glove checks', and being talked through the journey to the work-site handrail by handrail.

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Re: ROVs ?

In all these years of human space walks, has it not occurred to anyone to use an ROV similar to deep-ocean explorers? It would avoid the risk of being hit by micrometeorites and could even be operated from Earth, freeing the 'nauts to continue their planned work schedule.

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Good news indeed.

(body)

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The pair didn't see any white ammonia flakes, meaning the chemical was no longer leaking from the platform.

Did anyone think of a certain 'malfunctioning' AE35 unit when they read this?

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I'm afraid...

I can't allow you to think that, Kyza

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Since Curiousity has resolved that Mars-surface radiation...

The Mars rover Curiousity has resolved that solar radiation (the kind that kills people) is the same onboard the ISS as on the surface of Mars. It kind of breathes life into the types of missions that can still be done by the ISS. So long as the arrival/departure costs go down with COTS, etc.

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The best thing to note

This took only 48 hours from "oops, that looks bad" to blokes going out the airlock.

I think NASA deserves kudos for being able to get something done (and done well) on that sort of timescale with an operation this complex.

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Anonymous Coward

Re. radiation

Thats interesting, I was under the impression that the radiation which causes long term damage became an issue just outside geostationary orbit.

The Earth's magnetosphere protects against a lot of it though.

These are hard to shield against i.e. high energy ion radiation which causes double strand DNA breaks likely to lead to permanent damage.

AC/DC 6EQUJ5

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