Real-Time Extravehicular Activity Troubleshooting

Discipline: Environmental Control/Life Support

Originally recorded February 16, 2012

Dr. Parazynski focused on the Shuttle Transportation System (STS)-120 Solar Array Repair Extravehicular Activity (EVA) with personal anecdotes and then spoke about what it takes to have a successful EVA during the event, what types of problems can occur during an EVA, particularly with the spacesuit and the safety of the crew, and how to resolve these quickly, safely, and efficiently. He also described the participants and the types of decisions and actions each had to take to ensure success. He described “Team 4,” in Houston and on-orbit, as well as anecdotes from his STS-86 and STS-100 missions. Parazynski provided a retrospective on the EVA tools and procedures NASA used in the aftermath of Columbia for shuttle Thermal Protection System (TPS) inspection and repair. He described his role as the lead astronaut during this effort, and covered all the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL), KC-135, precision air-bearing floor (PABF), vacuum chamber, and 1-G testing performed to develop the tools and techniques that were flown. Parazynski discussed how the EVA community worked together to resolve a huge safety issue, and how his work in the spacesuit was critical to overcoming a design limitation of the Space Shuttle.

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