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首次全女性太空行走取消 竟因航天服“不合身” First all-women spacewalk canceled over lack of medium-sized spacesuits

中国日报网 2019-03-28 08:53

美国国家航空航天局宣布,原定于29日在国际空间站实施的太空行走由“女子双打”改为“男女混双”,航天史上首次全女性太空行走最终未能成行。背后的原因是其中一名女性宇航员发现她的舱外航天服硬壳内衣不合身,中号更合适,但到29日仅有一件中号航天服可供使用,只能满足一名女航天员出舱。

NASA astronaut Anne McClain assists fellow NASA astronauts Christina Koch (L) and Nick Hague as they verify their US spacesuits are sized correctly and fit properly ahead of a set of upcoming spacewalks at the International Space Station on March 18, 2019. Picture taken on March 18, 2019. Courtesy NASA

 

NASA’s plan to make a little space history with the first all-woman spacewalk has hit a snag: The right size spacesuit isn’t ready.

美国宇航局原本打算在太空史上迈出一小步,实施首次全女性太空行走任务,却意外遇到了困难,原因竟是没准备好合身的航天服。

snag[snæɡ]: n. 障碍;意外障碍

 

Astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch were expected to continue the installation of new lithium-ion batteries for the International Space Station’s solar energy system on March 29. Work on the project began on March 22 when McClain and another astronaut, Nick Hague, spent almost seven hours working in free fall outside the station.

3月29日,宇航员安妮·麦克莱恩和克里斯蒂娜·科赫本来计划继续为国际空间站的太阳能系统安装新的锂离子电池。这项工程于3月22日开始,麦克莱恩和另外一名宇航员尼克·黑格在空间站外的微重力状态下工作了近7个小时。

"McClain learned during her first spacewalk that a medium-size hard upper torso—essentially the shirt of the spacesuit—fits her best,” NASA said in a news release announcing that Hague and Koch would handle the next stage of the task instead. “Because only one medium-size torso can be made ready by Friday, March 29, Koch will wear it.”

美国宇航局在新闻发布会上宣布,下一阶段的工作将由黑格和科赫完成。“麦克莱恩在第一次太空行走时发现,中号的硬壳内衣更适合她。因为3月29日(周五)只有一件现成的中号内衣,这件衣服将给科赫使用。”

The mission had originally planned for Koch, a former US Army aviator, to wear a large-size torso for her spacewalk with McClain, an aerospace engineer.

这次太空行走的任务原计划由前美军飞行员科赫穿着大号宇航内衣和航空工程师麦克莱恩一起完成。

The ISS only has one medium-sized hard upper spacesuit torso prepared for extra-vehicular activity (EVA), with the other acting as a spare. A NASA spokesperson told Quartz the station has two large torsos and one extra-large torso ready, plus a spare extra-large torso. Neither of the spares can be configured in time for the EVA planned for four days from now.

国际空间站只有一件中号的宇航硬壳内衣用于舱外活动,另外一件留着备用。美国宇航局的一名发言人告诉石英财经网说,国际空间站有两件大号和一件加大号的宇航内衣,还有一件加大号的备用内衣。这两件备用内衣都无法在四天内重新调整好尺寸用于舱外活动。

configure[kən'fɪɡjɚ]: vt. 安装;使成形

 

"We do our best to anticipate the spacesuit sizes that each astronaut will need, based on the spacesuit size they wore in training on the ground, and in some cases astronauts train in multiple sizes,” NASA spokesperson Brandi Dean told Quartz in an email. "However, individuals’ sizing needs may change when they are on orbit, in response to the changes living in microgravity can bring about in a body. In addition, no one training environment can fully simulate performing a spacewalk in microgravity, and an individual may find that their sizing preferences change in space.”

美国宇航局的发言人布兰迪·迪安在一封电邮中告诉石英财经网说:“我们会基于宇航员在地面训练时穿的太空服尺码来尽力预估每位宇航员的太空服尺码,某些情况下宇航员穿不同尺码的太空服进行训练。但是,宇航员位于轨道上时,对尺码的需求可能会根据微重力条件下身体发生的变化而变化。此外,没有哪个训练环境能够完全模拟出微重力条件下太空行走的状态,宇航员可能会发现自己适合的尺码在太空中发生了改变。”

Working in a spacesuit is one of the most physically demanding of an astronaut’s duties. Though they are in free-fall, moving their arms and hands inside the suit requires them to push against the pressurized internal atmosphere that keeps them alive and the protective gauntlet of the suit itself. A poorly-fitting suit would seem likely to add unnecessary difficulty to a risky activity. Already, astronauts working multi-hour shifts lose track of tools that drop off into space.

穿着太空服工作是对体力要求最高的宇航员职责之一。尽管他们处于微重力状态下,在太空服内活动胳膊和手需要承受维持生存的内部气压和太空服金属防护层的重量。不合身的太空服将可能给本就有风险的太空活动增加不必要的困难。过去就曾发生过宇航员在连续数小时工作后因体力不支而让工具失手落入太空中。

The lack of spacesuit sizing options reflects the composition of NASA’s astronauts: The most recent class consisted of seven men and five women, but only 12 of the 38 currently active astronauts are women. Female astronauts have still been major participants in EVAs: Susan Helms shares the record for longest duration, spending nearly nine hours outside the airlock; Peggy Whitson has made 10 trips, for a cumulative 60-plus hours in free-fall.

宇航服尺码选项缺乏反映出美国宇航局的人员结构:最近(执行任务)的一组宇航员是七名男性、五名女性,但是38名现役宇航员中只有12名是女性。不过,女性宇航员仍是舱外活动的主要参与者:苏珊·海尔姆斯和另外一名男宇航员共同保持着舱外活动最长时间纪录,在舱外度过近9个小时;佩吉·惠特森一共进行过10次舱外活动,在微重力状态下累计度过了60多个小时。

An all-women spacewalk will have to wait, but McClain is scheduled to head out the airlock again on April 8 alongside Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques.

全女性太空行走还有待实现,但麦克莱恩已被安排在4月8日再次进行舱外活动,届时她的搭档将是加拿大宇航员戴维·圣雅克。

 

英文来源:石英财经网

翻译&编辑:丹妮

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