The crew aboard the International Space Station could have been in danger if it wasn’t for some MacGyver-style problem solving with a wire cleaner and a tooth brush.
According to Fox News, NASA’s Sunita Williams and Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide fixed a key power system on the International Space station this weeks with some improvised tools.
Williams and Hoshide spent over six hours outside the ISS to fix two stubborn bolts that hindered a space walk at the end of August. ABC reports that Williams and Hoshide weren’t able to connect the main bus switching unit during their August 30th spacewalk because of two stubborn bolts.
The astronauts developed a plan, which involved the combined knowledge of engineers, flight controllers, former astronauts and a toothbrush, and headed back outside the ISS to solve the problem.
Flight director Ed Van Cise, said:
“It was really amazing to watch the ingenuity, to watch the flight controllers. It was amazing to see it all come together.”
The toothbrush was used to lubricate the inside of the bolt housing. After the project was complete, former astronaut Jack Fischer told Williams and Hoshide:
“Looks like you guys just fixed the station…. It’s been like living on the set of Apollo 13 the past few days. NASA does the impossible pretty darn well, so congratulations to the whole team.”
Cise said that the astronauts were never in any real danger but said that his team worked together just like they did during Apollo 13.
“Similarities really were there to watch how the team came together… Just the theme that comes to mind — we did make jokes and talk about Apollo 13. ‘Failure is not an option’ is certainly something I mentioned a couple times, because we had to get this installed.”
The scene at NASA probably resembled the scene above. I, however, had another famous clip flash through my mind when I heard that a toothbrush had saved the day aboard the International Space Station….