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Astronauts use toothbrush to fix space station

Last Updated: Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 15:40

Moscow: NASA astronaut Sunita Williams and her Japanese colleague Akihiko Hoshide were finally able to install a power unit on the International Space Station Wednesday during their second spacewalk. They used tools made out of a toothbrush.

The astronauts fulfilled their main task to complete the installation of a new Main Bus Switching Unit (MBSU) on the station`s truss, which had caused problems during an Aug 30 spacewalk, reported RIA Novosti.

Williams and Hoshide used tools made out of a toothbrush and some spare parts to conduct the repair. They also installed a camera on the station`s robotic arm, Canadarm2, during the spacewalk that lasted 6 hours and 28 minutes, according to NASA.

Last time NASA Flight Engineer Williams and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Flight Engineer Hoshide spent 8 hours and 17 minutes in space, but failed to install a new MBSU on the station`s S0 truss as they had difficulties driving a bolt to secure the equipment.

The MBSU is a heavy component that is used to relay power from the station`s solar arrays to its systems.

Williams and Hoshide`s previous spacewalk was the third longest in history. The longest spacewalk, of 8 hours and 56 minutes, was carried out by US astronauts Susan Helms and James Voss in 2001.


First Published: Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 15:40

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