How Astronauts Used a Toothbrush to Fix Space Station: Scientific American

It took hard work, determination and some MacGyver-esque ingenuity for a pair of spacewalking astronauts to fix a key power system aboard the International Space Station Wednesday (Sept. 5).

NASA spaceflyer Sunita Williams and Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide spent nearly 6 1/2 hours yesterday outside in the vacuum of space to properly install a pair of bolts that had caused problems for the pair during a previous spacewalk last week.

In addition to their regular spacewalking gear, Williams and Hoshide were armed with some makeshift tools — including an improvised wire cleaner and a toothbrush — to help them get the job done.

On Aug. 30, Williams and Hoshide completed a marathon spacewalk that lasted more than 8 hours, but the astronauts were thwarted by a stubborn bolt and were unable to finish connecting the so-called main bus switching unit (MBSU). The stuck bolt forced NASA to add Wednesday’s extra spacewalk.

via How Astronauts Used a Toothbrush to Fix Space Station: Scientific American.

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