A NASA astronaut's space gloves were contaminated by women on Friday (October 18) during the historic spacewalk. NASA astronauts Christine Koch and Jessica Meir launched a spacewalk last Friday to replace one of the International Space Station's Battery Charging-Unloading (BCDU) units, following a previous spacewalk on 11 May.
October had failed. The spacewalk was successful as the astronauts also mastered some "forward movement". or additional tasks. However, when the astronauts entered the station, there was an impurity on one of Koch's gloves.
But it's very likely that this "pollution" is just fat from the station's Canadarm2 robotic arm, Koch said today (October 21
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To transport the bulky spare BCDU in space, Koch had the unique task on the robotic arm to drive. Koch described arm-twisting as "an incredible privilege, it's something we train for, but because it's rare, not many people get the experience to do it," she said during the webcast. "This includes the installation of a footrest at the end of the arm, which is actually only intended to hold onto a truck, for example."
"And so," she continued. "Of course, such a mechanical component has grease and lubricant, and what the engineers believe in this place is that my hand just touched something of it when I installed that footrest."
While a "contaminated spacesuit glove" appears mysterious or dangerous, the glove only has some of Canadarm2's fat. Koch said during the webcast that the gloves are now being analyzed in the space station and the contaminated glove is "just a little spotty".
"Unfortunately, I wish I could stay just as clean when I'm in my space suit as I try when I eat in the galley and our food swims around," Koch joked, reiterating that the glove mess really is not a big deal is. "It should not be a big deal," she said.