Feeds

ISS cosmonauts extract Soyuz explosive bolt

Pyro fitting suspected over ballistic re-entries

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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". ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Simon's says quantum computing will work
Boffins blast algorithm with half a dozen qubits
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.