Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Sep 6, 2012 in Science |

Astronauts repair the International Space Station with a toothbrush

Astronauts repair the International Space Station with a toothbrush

The is a complex installation full of pieces of research, which depends to run solar panels. One panel was incorrectly connected, and astronauts Sunita Williams and Akihiko Hoshide should conduct a spacewalk they took 6 hours to try to repair the problem.

How do you repair a problem like this? It just takes knowledge and tools, but also a good deal of creativity. This is how one of the tools to fix the problem was a toothbrush.

On August 30, Williams and Hoshide completed a spacewalk of more than eight hours, during which systems installed to provide power to the ship. However, they had trouble connecting a call MBSU (Main Bus Switching Unit), responsible for directing the energy from the solar panels.

Engineers, astronauts and others from Earth began to think then how to fix the problem using things that are available on the space station. They were two makeshift tools: A was used for lubricating the connectors, and the other a cleaning tool made of bent wire shaped brush.

“We knew we had particles inside the socket, so I went (a spacewalk) with another tool that was designed by the team of Earth,” said Kieth Johnson, director of spacewalks at the Johnson Space Center.

Finally, the tools helped connect everything correctly, and the station returned to work properly, causing joy in the control center. Definitely a reminder that imagination is one of the most important skills, even in space.

Link: How astronauts used a toothbrush & grease to fix Space Station (

Tags: , , , ,