British astronaut Tim Peake is training for a late-2015 mission to the International Space Station, and has been posting photos of his adventures online. A recent photo set shows off an Earth-copy training set of one of the tool boxes in use aboard the space station.
Larger ISS Training Tools Photos(via Tim Peake’s Flickr)
This probably isn’t the only tool set on the ISS, but it’s interesting to peek inside nonetheless.
These tools are meant for IVA use (intravehicular activities), which would involve regular maintenance and operations work.
The tool box is actually a lot deeper than I would have thought, giving me ideas for a future project. As one would think, the tool box has a locking door, which you can see swung out of the way in the photos.
All but one of the drawers feature a double-layer of foam that is custom cut to fit to each tool. This is presumably done for tool control and to prevent FOD, or foreign object damage.
First Drawer: Wrenches
It looks like the tool kit comes with a complete set of inch and metric combination wrenches. Each wrench has a fabric pull-out tab, for easier tool retrieval. I can’t identify the tools in the front right corner, but they look like crowfoot sockets.
Second Drawer: Ratchets, Sockets, Drive Accessories
The kit comes with a full set of inch and metric sockets in 1/4″ and 3/8″ drive sizes. There are standard and flex-head ratchets in each size, what look to be torque wrenches, extensions, adapters, universal joints, and a full set of inch and metric hex-bit sockets.
The ratchets look like Snap-on, but it’s hard to identify the other tool brands.
Everything in this drawer is color-coded. Light blue is for 1/4″ drive tools, and light green for 3/8″ drive. With respect to the sockets, light blue and light green are inch sizes, dark blue and dark green are metric, and the adapters are gray.
Third Drawer: Screwdrivers and Specialty Sockets
There are fewer screwdrivers than I would have thought. I suppose most fixture fasteners on the ISS are going to be hex-head, and maybe slotted for quick adjustments. Phillips-head fasteners just don’t seem like they would work well in a zero-G environment.
Towards the back of the drawer are a couple of larger crowsfeet sockets.
Fourth Drawer: Pliers, Cutters, Tweezers
There are a few miniature pliers, wire cutters, wire strippers, locking pliers, hemostats, snap ring pliers, long retrieval forceps, and what looks to be a set of tweezers.
I spy Craftsman adjustable pliers, which I hope the ISS crew takes good care of, because it doesn’t look like Craftsman makes them anymore.
Fifth Drawer: Files, Dead Blow Hammer, Snips, Saw, Pry Bar
It looks like this is the everything that doesn’t fit in anywhere else drawer. It contains a file set, dead blow ball pein hammer, a couple of cold chisels, a long pry bar, a grounding wrist strap, tin snips, a miniature hacksaw, a large combination wrench, a small monkey wrench, 10’/3m tape measure, and what appears to be a flexible wire saw.