Astronauts perform cable installation on International Space Station

NASA’s Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts performed three space walks, during which they completed power and data cable installation tasks for the ISS’s C2V2—Common Communications for Visiting Vehicles system.

Content Dam Cim Online Articles 2015 March Isscableinstallation

Between February 21 and March 1, NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore (commander) and Terry Virts (flight engineer) performed cableinstallation tasks over the course of three spacewalks along the International Space Station (ISS). Dubbed by NASA as the “Cable Guys,” Wilmore and Virts ventured out of the ISS to attach power and data cables to the port and starboard sides of Pressurized Mating Adapter-2, NASA explained, “at the forward end of the Harmony module where the first of two International Docking Adapters will be installed later this year.”

Wilmore had one previous spacewalk before embarking on this series of cable-installation walks. These were Virts’s first three spacewalks.

NASA further explained that the docking adapters for which the cabling work was required were built by Boeing; the adapters will be delivered to the ISS this year. “Boeing’s Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon will use the adapters to deliver astronauts to the space station later this decade.”

NASA also documented the astronauts’ work during their spacewalks. All photos within this story are from NASA.

On February 21, NASA posted the photo above with the following caption: Spacewalkers Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts attach power and data cables to the port and starboard side of Pressurized Mating Adapter-2. Credit: NASA TV.

During their February 21 and 25 spacewalks, the crew routed more than 300 feet of cable. On March 1 Wilmore and Virts installed cables for C2V2—the Common Communications for Visiting Vehicles system. As the March 1 work was being completed, NASA provided the following update: “Approximately three hours into today’s spacewalk, NASA astronauts Terry Virts and Barry Wilmore have installed cables for the C2V2 system and completed tasks along the port side of the space station’s truss. To complete the system’s installation, they will route the remaining cables along the starboard side.”

On February 23, NASA posted the above photo, taken February 21, with the following caption: NASA astronaut Terry Virts Flight Engineer of Expedition 42 on the International Space Station is seen working to complete a cable routing task while the sun begins to peak over the Earth's horizon on Feb. 21, 2015.

The two completed their “spacewalk trilogy” at approximately 12:30pm EST on March 1, NASA said. In total the astronauts completed installing 400 feet of cable and several antennas associated with the C2V2.

On March 1, NASA posted the above photo with the following caption: Spacewalker Terry Virts works on the Port 3 Truss to route cables. Credit: NASA TV

NASA said that during the three spacewalks Virts accumulated 19 hours and 2 minutes outside the International Space Station. With one prior spacewalk before the cable-installation trilogy, Wilmore has now spent 25 hours and 36 minutes “in the void of space” as NASA described it.

You can find more detail on these spacewalks and more information on NASA's blog, here.

This was NASA's Photo of the Day on March 2, 2015. Under the headline "Astronauts Complete Series of Three Spacewalks," NASA described the photo as follows: On Sunday, March 1, Expedition 42 Flight Engineer Terry Virts and Commander Barry "Butch" Wilmore ventured outside the International Space Station for their third spacewalk in eight days. Virts and Wilmore completed installing 400 feet of cable and several antennas associated with the Common Communications for Visiting Vehicles system known as C2V2. Boeing's Crew Transportation System (CST)-100 and the SpaceX Crew Dragon will use the system in the coming years to rendezvous with the orbital laboratory and deliver crews to the space station. Virts (@AstroTerry) tweeted this photograph and wrote, "Out on the P3 truss. #AstroButch handing me his cable to install on the new antenna. #spacewalk"

More in Design Install