NASA astronauts replace damaged antenna on International Space Station

An antenna broken on the International Space Station was replaced by two astronauts Thursday morning, according to NASA.

In a Twitter video posted by NASA, astronauts Thomas H. Marshburn and Kayla Barron conducted the work on the antenna after NASA officials received a "debris notification" near the station.

Antenna repairs were made during a spacewalk scheduled for Nov. 30.

NASA said the antenna was flown to the station 21 years ago, making it "quite old." 

The ISS is a large spacecraft that orbits 250 miles above Earth. According to NASA, the agency uses the ISS to learn more about living and working in space. In October, the space station marked 20 years of astronauts and visitors who have visited the facility which is comprised of a lookout tower, three toilets, six sleeping areas and 12 rooms.

NASA antenna repairs

Credit: NASA via Storyful

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On Nov. 10, Mashburn, Barron, fellow NASA astronaut Raja Chari and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer traveled aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. The team is spending six months at the ISS to perform scientific research and monitor the space station.

Mashburn serves as pilot of the NASA SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the ISS. It was the first space flight for Barron, a Navy lieutenant, who was added to the team in May, FOX Business reported.

Barron became a NASA astronaut in January 2020 after finishing two years of training. She earned a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, in 2010, and earned a master’s degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Cambridge, in England, in 2011.

She also went on to earn her submarine warfare officer qualification and deployed three times while serving aboard the USS Maine, according to NASA.

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Prior to becoming an astronaut, Mashburn was a flight surgeon assigned to Space Shuttle Medical Operations and the joint U.S./Russian Space Program and later became the Medical Operations Lead for the ISS.

The North Carolina native has a bachelor of science degree in Physics from Davidson College in North Carolina, a master's in Engineering Physics from the University of Virginia; a doctorate of medicine from Wake Forest University; and a master's in Medical Science from the University of Texas Medical Branch, according to NASA. 

The crew’s mission to the ISS marked the fifth passenger flight for SpaceX, an American aerospace manufacturer, space transportation services and communications corporation founded by Elon Musk. 

Storyful contributed to this story.