Two Ham-Astronauts to Repair Faulty Pump During Multiple Spacewalks
Expedition 38 Astronauts Mike Hopkins, KF5LJG, and Rick Mastracchio, KC5ZTE, will leave the confines of the International Space Station (ISS) December 21, 23, and 25 to repair a faulty cooling system pump. The malfunction has already caused the postponement of one Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school contact. NASA managers also are postponing until January an upcoming cargo resupply mission to the ISS. NASA said that during the multiple spacewalks — or extra-vehicular activities (EVAs) as NASA calls them — Hopkins and Mastracchio will remove a pump module that has a failed valve and replace it with a spare that’s stowed on an external platform.
Charlie Sufana, AJ9N, who is involved with scheduling school contacts, said ARISS has postponed one contact with a school in Italy that had been scheduled for December 16. It’s being rescheduled for January. It’s unclear if the ISS problem will affect additional ARISS school contacts.
“We are working towards getting everyone scheduled, but it is pretty crazy,” Sufana told ARRL. “The two contacts for next week have not been scheduled yet, and it will probably be a near last-minute decision. We may just luck out and get something between EVA days.”