A pair of astronauts took to space on Wednesday to set up a high-speed data link outside the International Space Station’s European laboratory. NASA’s Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover left early and headed straight to Columbus, one of three high-tech labs out of the orbiting outpost. They have brought with them a whimsical new antenna for Columbus that will provide faster communications with European researchers via satellites and ground stations. The square antenna is the size of a small refrigerator.
Danish astronaut Andreas Morgensen led the space walkers from Mission control in Houston.
The spacewalkers also needed to connect power and data cables for an experimental platform for scientific research outside the European laboratory that had been awaiting activation for nearly a year.
SpaceX delivered the platform named Bartholomew to the space station last spring. The shelf was installed with the station’s robotic arm, but had to wait until Wednesday’s spacewalk to be connected and activated.
Airbus, which built and operates Bartolomeo, sells space on the platform for private research projects. It is the first commercial enterprise in Europe outside the station.
Hopkins and Glover will take a second spacewalk on Monday to complete battery upgrades to the station’s solar power grid. The last spacewalk was the third for Hopkins and the first for Glover.
They are part of SpaceX’s second astronaut flight, launched in November.
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- The square antenna is the size of a small refrigerator. Danish astronaut Andreas Morgensen led the space walkers from Last spring SpaceX also delivered the Bartholomew Mission Control Platform in Houston to the space station, to connect power and data cables for an experimental scientific research platform outside the European laboratory, awaiting activation by nearly a year. year.
- Astronauts traveling into space venture to improve the European laboratory