Earth Aurora and a Solar Array

Solar Array

Solar array seen above Earth/image courtesy of NASA

Earth Aurora and a Solar Array

| published November 5, 2015 |

By Thursday Review staff


The dazzling image with its luminous colors and tones is a view of the solar panel array of the International Space Station as it passes over an aurora.

This week, NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Scott Kelly are in the final stages of a job begun some three years ago but never completed: restoring the port truss cooling system which sprang leaks back in 2011, and then sustained repair work in 2012 by Suni Williams and Aki Hoshide, and more repairs in 2013 by astronauts Chris Cassidy and Tom Mashburn. All repair work has been done by spacewalk. Kelly and Lindgren hope to put the finishing touches on the repairs—including adding to the levels of ammonia coolant within the system—within the next few days, effectively bringing the cooling system back on line.

Kelly and Lindgren have been working outside the International Space Station each day since last week, an arduous process which includes getting lengthy assistance getting into their spacesuits prior to each extended EVA, and then receiving additional help from crew members at the end of each shift.  NASA hopes to have the repairs completed by the end of this week.

Related Thursday Review articles:

What’s Different About This Selfie?; Thursday Review staff; Thursday Review; October 29, 2015.

Juggling Weightless Citrus in Space; Thursday Review staff; Thursday Review; October 20, 2015.