The Straits Times
Published on Sep 05, 2012

Spacewalkers leave station to attempt power system repair


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (REUTERS) - Toting homemade brushes and bags of tools, two astronauts left the International Space Station on Wednesday for a second spacewalk to try and install a new power system unit.

Lead spacewalker Sunita Williams and Japan's Akihiko Hoshide floated outside the station for the second time in a week, hoping to resolve a problem that left a replacement power router tethered to its attachment plate.

The astronauts attempted to install the 100kg device, known as a main bus switching unit, to the station's framework during a spacewalk last Thursday, but were stymied by a jammed bolt.

The unit is one of four needed to route power from eight solar array wings to transformers that distribute electricity to run the US$100 billion (S$125 billion) orbital outpost.