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They had been working to install a new MBSU back on August 30 but encountered difficulty in bolting the new unit down to the spacecraft.
It appeared that there was significant debris, described as metal shavings, which had amassed inside the bolts and was preventing them from attaching it to the space craft and securing the MBSU.
With the debris around the bolts, there was little chance of a successful MBSU installation.
The MBSU is a heavy component that is used to relay power from the station's solar arrays to its systems.
"If by the 4-hour mark the spacewalkers are still unable to install the MBSU, they will begin the process of cleaning it up and bringing it back inside the Quest airlock for further analysis and troubleshooting within the pressurized, shirt-sleeve environment of the station," NASA said in a statement.
If the second power cannot be restored or re-routed, there will be another delay for the Dragon cargo launch until the MBSU problem is solved.
"An issue is being worked with a Main Bus Switching Unit (MBSU) that distributes electrical power to two of the eight power channels on the station," (https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2019/04/29/crew-waits-for-dragon-mission-while-teams-troubleshoot-power-issue/) NASA wrote in a post .
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- MBT (disambiguation)
- MBT disambiguation