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CSUF Alumna Sets Record Replacing Space Station Coolant Pump

August 17, 2010

By Russ L. Hudson

Tracy Caldwell Dyson, left, and Douglas Wheelock set up the new coolant pump on the International Space Station’s S1 truss. Courtesy NASA

Douglas Wheelock — attached to the Canadarm2 robotic arm operated from inside the International Space Station by crewmember Shannon Walker — heads toward Tracy Caldwell Dyson while she works on the failed pump. Courtesy NASA

Alumna Tracy Caldwell Dyson (B.A. chemistry ’93), in a grueling, prolonged process, helped replace the coolant pump on the International Space Station this week. In the process, Caldwell Dyson made history, completing what NASA called the most challenging spacewalk project ever undertaken on the 12-year-old station.

Following a more than seven hour walk Monday, Caldwell Dyson and crewmember Douglas Wheelock finally completed replacement of the pump that failed July 31. The pair went on the first of three walks Aug. 7 to remove the bad pump, but a balky connector kept them from finishing the job during the eight hours and three minutes walk. It was the sixth-longest spacewalk ever. On their second walk, on Aug. 11, they were delayed by an ammonia coolant leak.

Caldwell Dyson’s other records:

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