NPR logo

Tool Bag Floats Away From Astronaut

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/97187427/97187403" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Tool Bag Floats Away From Astronaut

Space

Tool Bag Floats Away From Astronaut

Tool Bag Floats Away From Astronaut

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/97187427/97187403" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A spacewalking astronaut accidentally let go of her tool bag Tuesday after a grease gun inside exploded. She helplessly watched as the tote and everything inside floated away.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Now, this next report is about putting tools to the test. If you should lose your tools, they can always be replaced at the neighborhood Home Depot. But as NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce tells us, it is not so simple when you're making repairs in space.

NELL GREENFIELDBOYCE: Two astronauts ventured outside of the space station to do maintenance work. The main job was to clean and lubricate a big mechanical joint. It normally lets power-generating solar panels turn to face the sun. At one point, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper realized that she had a problem. A grease gun had apparently gone off in her tool bag, and some of her tools were covered with the stuff.

(Soundbite of spacewalk)

Ms. HEIDEMARIE STEFANYSHYN-PIPER (Astronaut): Yeah, it's on the camera. And I got a little bit on my glove.

GREENFIELDBOYCE: She was trying to clean up the grease when her bag suddenly drifted off into space.

Ms. STEFANYSHYN-PIPER: Oh, great.

GREENFIELDBOYCE: The astronaut lost a few pieces of equipment, like some cleaning tools and wipes. But NASA said her spacewalking partner had enough to share. Nell Greenfieldboyce, NPR News.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.