All in a Day’s Work
- Thursday, 26 January 2012
On December 23, NASA astronaut Don Pettit joined the crew on the International Space Station (ISS), where he’ll live and work until May. For Flight Engineer Pettit, who holds a doctorate in chemical engineering, this trip marks his third spaceflight and second long-duration mission.Pettit has already performed life science work on the ISS, including collecting blood and urine samples for storage, and reviewing procedures for conducting ultrasound operations on a crewmember’s blood vessels.
But Pettit was working just as hard on the ground before his trip into space. He worked on the development of transpiration- cooled fasteners that operate like an open-loop heat pipe for use in on-orbit repair of thermal insulation on a spacecraft. By limiting the temperature rise of the fastener and the insulation, the repair would retain its strength and integrity on re-entry.