Astronauts Complete Historic 200th Spacewalk At International Space Station

Posted: May 13 2017, 1:31pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
Astronauts Complete Historic 200th Spacewalk at International Space Station
Astronaut on Friday’s historic spacewalk. Credit: NASA TV

Two NASA astronauts performed the landmark spacewalk on Friday and completed all the major tasks

Astronauts on International Space Station just made history by completing 200th spacewalk outside the orbiting lab.

On Friday, two NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer performed the landmark 200th spacewalk when they ventured outside the ISS to replace a faulty avionics box supplying electricity and connecting data for the science experiments. But as they were gearing up for the task, they noticed a small problem in the servicing and cooling umbilical (SCU) – a device that supplies power and oxygen to the spacesuits worn by astronauts. There was a leakage of water at the connection point of the device and the spacesuit of astronaut Jack Fischer. That meant that they had to fix the problem before focusing on the original tasks.

“This is the connection point of the component in the airlock itself that provides power, oxygen, cooling water and communications lines to the two crew members while they are in the process of biding their time, pre-breathing pure oxygen, in the airlock itself," NASA commentator Rob Navias said.

The small leak of water led to the brief delay in the start of spacewalk. Generally, spacewalks last six and a half hours but Friday’s activity was reduced to four hours and 13 minutes due to the disruption. Nevertheless, it ended up setting a record in the history of International Space Station.

The first spacewalk ever at the International Space Station was conducted on December 7, 1998. The latest represents the 200th spacewalk at ISS.

During the historic spacewalk, astronauts completed all the major tasks scheduled for the day. They successfully replaced the ExPRESS Carrier Avionics, or ExPCA box that was experiencing some thermal issues of late. In addition, they installed a connector that routes data to the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. The instrument is an efficient way to measure and maintain cosmic rays. The two astronauts also installed a protective shield on Pressurized Mating Adaptor-3, which will act as a new docking port for the arrival of commercial crew spacecraft.

The Friday’s trip outside the space station marked the ninth spacewalk of the veteran astronaut Peggy Whitson’s space career while it was the first one for flight engineer Jack Fischer.

Whitson who is also serving as the commander for Expedition 51 already set a string of records. She holds the record for most spacewalks by a woman and has spent more cumulative time in space than any other US astronaut. In 2008, Whitson became the first woman to ever command the ISS and on April 9 she became the first woman to command the station twice.

Peggy Whitson is expected to return to Earth on September this year.

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