Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Second U.S. Astronaut to "Lose Her Grip"

Female Submarine Crew Inadvisability, Again ?

February 08, 2007 - Strike ONE !

November 19, 2008 - (another Navy Captain) Strike TWO?
Lost tool bag forces changes to planned spacewalks - The briefcase-sized tool bag drifted away from astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper on Tuesday as she cleaned and lubed a gummed-up joint on a wing of solar panels on the space station.
What it boils down to is all it takes is one small mistake for a tether not to be hooked up quite correctly or to slip off, and that's what happened here, said lead spacewalk officer John Ray.

Despite my little hiccup, or major hiccup, I think we did a good job out there, Stefanyshyn-Piper said.

M.E. actually agrees with Stefanyshyn-Piper this time. She is one of our best trained astronauts. A small degree of error is built into everyone's performance. She was performing a complex task in a very low-tolerance environment. Gender may not have been a factor at all, this time (we will never know), although if she really lost her grip (small hand syndrome), the incident may point out a design problem.

Let's hope there is never a Strike THREE. A future mission could be a failure due to lost space debris (including a tool bag). Here's the YouTube of the actual incident (no sound for the 1st 40 seconds. Wonder what has been censored.):

Second U.S. astronaut to "lose her grip"



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