Whoops! Astronauts lose vital cans

We all know the problem. You put something down and you just can’t find it.
Now it has happened to astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
They have lost chemical canisters vital for removing deadly carbon dioxide from their spacesuits’ life-support systems.
Red-faced American commander Bill McArthur and Russian flight engineer Valery Tokarev have scoured the space station’s modules for the kit.
But Nasa say they cannot perform any spacewalks until they are found.
It is feared the cannisters may have been dumped when the astronauts were filling a Progress supply ship with rubbish.
Nasa plan to send extra cannisters of the lithium hydroxide aboard the next supply ship when it flies to the orbiting outpost next month.
But they are also worried about the condition of handrails outside the space station after a manufacturing flaw was found in similar rails back on Earth.
Cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov and Nasa flight engineer Jeffrey Williams are scheduled to launch on Wednesday (March 29) for a six-month stint in orbit. Two spacewalks were planned during their mission.
They will be joined aboard their Russian Soyuz spacecraft by Brazilian astronaut Marcos Pontes who will cary out research for eight days before flying home with the current crew.

© Paul Sutherland. Unauthorised reproduction forbidden.

Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.
Paul Sutherland

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Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.

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