NASA Will Have An Emergency ISS Space Walk Tomorrow

A failed computer will result in two astronauts conducting an emergency spacewalk at the International Space Station tomorrow, NASA has announced, enabling the ISS to resume operations with its primary (rather than backup) system. The computer is one of two units that control systems on the space station, though NASA reassures everyone that none of the astronauts have been or will be in danger from the computer failure.

NASA announced the planned spacewalk on Sunday, saying that the ISS's backup system is currently controlling some of its equipment and systems. The space box that will replace the failed computer has already been tested and deemed suitable. Both station commander Peggy Whitson and flight engineer Jack Fischer from NASA will be conducting the spacewalk.

The space agency estimates that it will take two hours to conduct the spacewalk. It isn't clear exactly when the spacewalk will take place, however, this isn't the first time astronauts have had to venture outside of the ISS to solve a problem. The most recent emergency spacewalk, this one aside, took place back in December 2015 and likewise involved two crew members heading outside of the station.

Why the computer failed is unclear. As with many items on the International Space Station, spare hardware was already available and ready to be used. According to Reuters, commander Whitson has already assembled it as part of the testing process; the computer replacement is expected to be accomplished without any issues or unforeseen difficulties.

SOURCE: Reuters