Kimbrough and Whitson's Job
Today, NASA posted about the work done by Expedition 50 members Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson to the International Space Station. During this seven hour spacewalk, the two astronauts reconnected cables in the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3, and installed four thermal protection shields on the Tranquility module of the ISS. The shields were installed to cover the PMA-3 that was removed by Whitson earlier in the day. The shields will protect PMA-3 from thermal extremes and orbital debris.
The Science Behind It
The Tranquility Module is the third and last US node on the ISS. It provides a waste water recycling system and oxygen generation. It has six berthing (or docking) mechanisms, including the PMA-3.
The PMA-3, as aforementioned, stands for Pressurized Mating Adapter-3. Its function is to connect a Common Berthing Mechanism port of an ISS module to another port of a visiting module or spacecraft.
Sisters in Science posted about Peggy Whitson and her accomplishments on February 7. After the completion of today's spacewalk, Whitson now holds the female record for the most spacewalks and accumulated time in space.