The Canadian astronaut, David Saint-Jacques, is the one who has the rare experience to live on the International Space Station for 100 days. David Saint-Jacques, along with his colleague Anne McClain, is scheduled for his first spacewalk next Monday, when they will embark outside the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS is a space station on the low Earth orbit that serves as a microgravity and space environment for laboratory research and experiments.
What Is the Purpose of the Spacewalk of the Canadian Astronaut David Saint-Jacques?
The seven-hour spacewalk of the astronauts has the purpose of connecting jumper cables to the Canadarm2. This will give the 17-meter robotic arm an alternative power source, says the Canadian Space Agency.
The first task is about Canadarm2, the robotic arm which measures 17 meters-long. The robotic arm is part of Canada’s contribution to the ISS and was extensively involved in the assembly. The Canadian robotic arm helps with Station maintenance, move supplies, equipment, Dextre and astronauts. So it’s important to give it an alternative power.
Another task for the two astronauts is to install other equipment used for experiments and to “upgrade” the International Space Station’s “wireless communications system.” Finally, the last task for the spacewalk will be to remove a defective piece for a future installation of a nickel-hydrogen battery by a mechanical arm.
The Benefits and Risks of the Spacewalk
The cables for the Canadarm2 that will be installed by Saint Jacques and McClain will help in case of a power outage on the space station. If this happens, the robotic arm can make the repairs to the ISS without any spacewalks. However, the spacewalk can present a risk for the astronauts in performing the tasks.
NASA’s flight director, Rick Henfling, declares that the crew members are trained on the ground in a pool that simulates the weightlessness of space, and there’s nothing unique that they don’t know. But the trust put in them is high, and the tasks of this spacewalk will be executed with success, hopefully, by the Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques and Anne McClain.