Spacewalking Astronauts Grease Robot Arm’s New Hand

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CAPE CANAVERAL (CBSMiami/AP) – Seems ‘grease is the word’ – even in space.

On Tuesday, International Space Station commander Randy Bresnik and Mark Vande Hei ventured outside the orbiting platform to grease the robot arm’s new hand.

Last week, the pair replaced the latching mechanism on one end of the 58-foot robot arm, which malfunctioned in August. Now they need to lubricate the newly installed device. The two-part lube job is expected to spill into next week, in a third spacewalk.

These latches, or hands, are located on each end of the Canadian-built robot arm. They’re used to grab arriving U.S. cargo ships and also allow the robot arm to move around the orbiting lab.

Launched in 2001, the original latches were showing their age.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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