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Russian segment of ISS unaffected by power shortage

September 04, 2012, 17:02 UTC+3

The electric power saving mode was introduced on the ISS on July 30 after US and Japanese astronauts’ not very successful spacewalk

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MOSCOW, September 4 (Itar-Tass) — The electric power saving mode, introduced on the International Space Station (ISS) on July 30 after US and Japanese astronauts’ not very successful spacewalk, has had no effect on the functioning of the Russian segment of the station, a source in the Mission Control Centre (MCC) outside Moscow told Itar-Tass.

According to him, the work of all systems and equipment on the Russian segment of the ISS is almost entirely supported by its own electric power generated by solar panels, which are installed on the Zvezda and Zarya modules, as well as by the spaceships docked to the station: the Progress cargo spacecraft and manned Soyuz ship. “Under the agreement with the American side we receive extra power from the US segment: 1-1.5 kW in a standby mode, and during the energy-intensive operations (such as the correction of the ISS orbit, docking, EVA) - 6 kW,” said the expert. “In this case we have easily saved 1 kW by switching of the Elektron oxygen regeneration system,” the source said.

However, the astronauts are not threatened with anoxia, he stressed. The Russians get the oxygen supply needed for the crew’s life support from the European cargo spacecraft ATV-3 “Edoardo Amaldi” that on September 25 will be undocked from the ISS and sunk in the Pacific Ocean. “This is a normal operation: when the time comes to take away the remains of oxygen from the used cargo spacecraft we always disable the Elektron system,” the expert explained.

Russian media reported on Monday that after the spacewalk US astronaut Sunita Williams and Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, only five of the eight solar panels generate electricity on the ISS.

According to NASA, During the 8-hour, 17-minute spacewalk, Williams and Hoshide were unable to install a new Main Bus Switching Unit (MBSU) on the International Space Station’s s-zero truss. After removing and stowing the failed unit, the spacewalkers had difficulties driving the bolts to secure the replacement switching unit in the s-zero truss. Williams and Hoshide used a long-duration tie-down tether to secure the replacement MBSU to the space station for a future spacewalk. They plan another spacewalk during which the astronauts will cope with the problem.

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