HOUSTON – Astronaut Jeanette Epps, a native of Syracuse, was guiding two astronauts on the International Space Station through a spacewalk from the control of NASA's mission in Houston when there was a problem, according to a report.
A panel on the space station would not open, so Epps suggested using a lever bar, Space.com reported. His suggestion worked and, despite the stubborn panel, the mission of the spacewalk was completed successfully.
It was badumed that Epps, a graduate of Corcoran High School and Le Moyne College, would go to the International Space Station as part of the crew of Expedition 56/57. She would have been the first African-American to live in the station. Fourteen African-Americans have gone to space and several have visited the station without staying. Epps was supposed to live there for about six months in 2018.
Epps, an aerospace engineer and former CIA badyst, joined the astronaut corps in 2009. NASA announced in January 2018 that Epps was removed from the crew, sparking speculation as to why. NASA did not give a reason for its elimination.
When they took her out of the mission, Epps said they all thought it was for health reasons, but it was not, she said in October 2018. No matter why, Epps said that "it really was a bad thing that happened."
On Monday, Epps was in Houston guiding two astronauts who stepped into the space step by step on a mission to complete several repairs and improve tasks on the space station when Internet cable work caused some problems, Space.com reported.
NASA astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques had to remove a micrometeroid shield from orbital debris to access some cables to improve the connectivity of the experiments at the space station, the website reported. One of the locks of the shield refused to slacken and finally Epps suggested that Saint-Jacques take a lever. He inserted it carefully under the panel, first checking that it was in the correct position before pushing.
"I feel some movement," Saint-Jacques told Space.com. The two astronauts carefully jumped the lever lever from side to side under the shield, and finally released the panel. "I have it," said Saint-Jacques. He and McClain exchanged a fast maximum of five before finishing the installation.
Unfortunately, the panel refused to re-enter, forcing the astronauts to remove and reinstall a nearby handlebar to tighten the panel in position. With that task completed, McClain secured the panel with long-lasting moorings before the astronauts moved on to their next task, the website reported.
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