Spacewalking astronauts avoid debris as they repair antenna

2 December 2021, 22:04

Astronaut Tom Marshburn replaces a broken antenna (Nasa/AP)
Space Station. Picture: PA

The spacewalk had been delayed because of potentially threatening space junk.

Spacewalking astronauts replaced a broken antenna outside the International Space Station after getting Nasa’s all-clear for orbiting debris.

US astronauts Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron were supposed to complete the job on Tuesday, but Nasa delayed the spacewalk because of potentially threatening space junk.

Nasa later determined the astronauts were safe to go out, despite a slightly increased risk of a punctured suit from satellite wreckage.

But soon after the spacewalk ended, Mission Control notified the crew that the station would need to move into a slightly lower orbit on Friday to avoid an old US rocket fragment.

Last month, Russia destroyed an old satellite in a missile test, sending pieces everywhere.

Nasa is not saying whether that event was the source of the junk that delayed the spacewalk.

During the first National Space Council meeting under Vice President Kamala Harris this week, top US government officials joined her in condemning Russia’s extensive debris-scattering last month.

More than 1,700 sizeable pieces of the shattered satellite are being tracked, with tens if not hundreds of thousands too small to see.

Ms Barron reported at least 11 small debris strikes to the failed antenna that was removed during the spacewalk, with some of the holes looking old.

The device, up there for more than 20 years, malfunctioned in September.

Mr Marshburn, 61, became the oldest person to conduct a spacewalk.

It was the fourth of his career.

Ms Barron, a 34-year-old space debutante, ventured out on her first.

They flew up on SpaceX last month for a six-month stay.

Two other Americans are aboard the space station, along with two Russians and one German.

By Press Association

More Technology News

See more More Technology News

Glastonbury Festival 2022

Glastonbury 2022 broke data records, EE says

A child using a laptop computer

Pupils ‘AirDrop nudes in maths and use Google Drive to store images’, MPs told

Over 20 million US dollars were raised by the public for drones to fight the Russian invasion

Tech company to gift Bayraktar drones to Ukraine after millions raised by public

A mixed reality holographic patient

UK medical students training on hologram patients in world-first


Warning new internet laws will hand ministers ‘unprecedented’ powers

A battery changing station of Nio brand electrical car (Alamy)

Two dead after Nio electric car they were testing ‘falls from building’

Alexa to expand

Amazon’s Alexa could mimic the voices of dead relatives

Ai-Da at work

Robot painting Glastonbury’s famous faces says festival atmosphere is ‘electric’

Instagram's new age verification tools, which have started being testing in the US

Instagram begins testing new age verification tools

A security surveillance camera is seen near the Microsoft office building in Beijing

Microsoft: Russian cyber spying targets 42 Ukraine allies

Social media apps on a smartphone

Meta removes ‘large numbers’ of upskirting images found on Facebook

Rio Ferdinand poses for photographs with children at 10 Downing Street to celebrate the launch of the Diana Award’s annual anti-bullying campaign Don’t Face It Alone (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Rio Ferdinand calls for new ‘inspiring’ online platform to combat child bullying

A screenshot of the Microsoft Outlook email service

Microsoft’s Outlook email service hit by outage

Elon Musk

Elon Musk’s proposed £35.8bn Twitter deal gets board endorsement

Apple unveils new products

Guide Dogs launches scheme to provide free iPads to children with sight loss

A woman using a laptop

Cloudflare outage knocks hundreds of websites offline