US spacewalkers install ‘new eyes’ at space station

In this image from video made available by NASA, astronaut Randy Bresnik performs a spacewalk with Mark Vande Hei, not pictured, outside the International Space Station on Tuesday. (AP)
Updated 11 October 2017

US spacewalkers install ‘new eyes’ at space station

MIAMI: Two US astronauts installed a high-definition video camera at the International Space Station Tuesday and made more progress on repairs to the lab’s robotic arm, NASA said.
NASA spokesman Rob Navias described the camera equipment as offering “new eyes” to the orbiting outpost, as live video showed astronaut Randy Bresnik in sharp detail, floating in his white spacesuit.
The previous camera had aged, and was tinting images pink. Another camera outside the ISS, nicknamed “Old Yeller” because of its yellow hues, is set to be replaced on the next spacewalk October 18.
The spacewalk was the second in five days for Bresnik and his NASA colleague Mark Vande Hei.
The spacewalk formally began when the duo switched their spacesuits to battery power at 1156 GMT, then floated out into the vacuum of space, NASA said. It ended six hours and 26 minutes later.
On their spacewalk Thursday, the pair replaced the latching end of the 57-foot-long (17-meter) Canadian-made arm, called Canadarm2.
On Tuesday, they lubricated its latching end effector.
The robotic arm was installed at the orbiting outpost 16 years ago, and recently stopped gripping effectively.
Astronauts need it in working order so it can capture incoming cargo ships that ferry supplies to the crew living in orbit. The next US shipment arrives in November.


UK’s Boris Johnson likens himself to The Incredible Hulk

Updated 15 September 2019

UK’s Boris Johnson likens himself to The Incredible Hulk

  • Johnson said he will meet the Oct. 31 deadline no matter what
  • “The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets,” he told the Mail

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has compared himself to The Incredible Hulk in a newspaper interview emphasizing his determination to take Britain out of the European Union next month.
Johnson faces considerable legal and political hurdles but told the Mail on Sunday he will meet the Oct. 31 deadline no matter what.
“The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets,” he told the widely read tabloid, invoking the comic book and film character known for formidable but destructive strength.
Johnson remains defiant even though Parliament has passed a law requiring him to seek an extension to the deadline if no deal is reached by mid-October. He has also lost his working majority in Parliament and been told by Scotland’s highest court that his decision to suspend Parliament was illegal.
Johnson portrays himself as more convinced than ever that Britain will break with the EU at the end of October.
He will have a lunchtime meeting in Luxembourg on Monday with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to try to modify the Irish backstop that has been a main sticking point, but EU leaders did not seem impressed by Johnson’s invocation of the Hulk.
The European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, said the comments showed a lack of maturity.
“Even to Trumpian standards the Hulk comparison is infantile,” he tweeted. “Is the EU supposed to be scared by this? The British public impressed?“
Juncker, who has downplayed hopes of a breakthrough at Monday’s meeting, also expressed alarm that many people in Britain seem to feel a British departure without a deal with the EU would be a positive thing.
“It would be terrible chaos,” he said in an interview with Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio. “And we would need years to put things back in order. Anyone who loves his country, and I assume that there are still patriots in Britain, would not want to wish his country such a fate.”
The Oct. 31 deadline looms large because Johnson has not said he will seek another extension if no deal is reached, despite legislation passed by Parliament shortly before it was suspended.
Britain’s Supreme Court this week will rule on whether Johnson overstepped the law when he shut the legislature for a crucial five-week period.
The Liberal Democrats, who have been enjoying a revival, voted overwhelmingly at their party conference Sunday to end the Brexit process entirely if they come to power.
Party leader Jo Swinson said Article 50, which triggered Brexit, would be revoked if she becomes prime minister.
The party gained an important member Saturday with the defection of Sam Gyimah, a former Conservative minister. He is the sixth legislator to switch allegiance and join the Liberal Democrats this year.
Johnson also continues to take flak from former Prime Minister David Cameron, who called the 2016 referendum on Brexit.
Cameron said in an interview published Sunday that Johnson didn’t really believe in Brexit when he broke ranks and led the campaign to take Britain out of the EU. Cameron had been expecting Johnson’s help during the hard-fought campaign.
Cameron says of Johnson: “The conclusion I am left with is that he risked an outcome he didn’t believe in because it would help his political career.”
Cameron is giving interviews to gain publicity for his upcoming memoirs.