November 19, 2008
Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.
You think you had a bad day?
You’re looking at astronaut Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper, and yesterday she was scheduled to participate in a six-hour spacewalk outside of the International Space Station.
Her specific job was to clean and lubricate the gears of the station’s starboard Solar Alpha Rotary Joint, a certain Solar Alpha Rotary Joint that has been malfunctioning. In space. Very high up in space.
But when she opened her tool bag to begin her work, she found that her grease gun had leaked, coating the entire contents of her bag with a film of lubricant.
And then while she was trying to clean up her bag and all of the tools within, the whole thing floated away!
And so for the remainder of the six-hour spacewalk which isn’t much of a walk at all, Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper had to share tools with astronaut Steve Bowen.