Feeds

ISS cosmonauts extract Soyuz explosive bolt

Pyro fitting suspected over ballistic re-entries

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Sergei Volkov yesterday ventured outside the International Space Station to remove an explosive bolt from the Soyuz TMA-12 spacecraft amid suspicions that faulty pyro fittings may have been responsible for two ballistic re-entries into Earth's atmosphere.

Sergei Volkov and Oleg Kononenko during the spacewalk. Pic: NASA TVRussian scientists reckon that dodgy bolts previously delayed separation of the Soyuz crew module from an equipment compartment prior to re-entry, something which in October 2007 and April this year treated passengers to high-speed returns to Earth some way from the intended landing sites.

While considered perfectly safe, a ballistic re-entry is a white-knuckle ride for astronauts, as Korean Yi So-Yeon can attest.

Volkov and Kononenko (see pic) needed six hours and 18 minutes to tackle the suspect bolt - one of ten joining the compartments. Volkov had the unenviable task of unscrewing the fitting, which was then stowed in a "blast-proof cylindrical case" for return to Earth and examination. One of the pair concluded: "It is in. Thank God."

The third ISS crew member, Greg Chamitoff, spent the whole operation in the Soyuz, just in case the airlock which joins the spacecraft to Russia's Pirs module could not be repressurised. If that had happened he'd have been stranded on the station with no access to the Soyuz "lifeboat". ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Kip Thorne explains how he created the black hole for Interstellar
Movie special effects project spawns academic papers on gravitational lensing
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.