Astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer put on spacesuits Friday to head outside the International Space Station for several fix and maintenance tasks, but the duo will likely only complete part of their work after a leaky cooling umbilical delayed the start of their spacewalk.
For Fischer (wearing the space suit with no stripes), it will be a new experience - his first ever spacewalk. These include replacing a large avionics box that supplies electricity and data connections for various onboard science experiments, and installing a fabric shield created to protect against micrometeorites on one of the spacecraft's pressurized mating adapters. The two were able to complete the task of removing a faulty electricity and data box that aides experiments on the exterior of ISS.
The two astronauts also plan to install a data connector to the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, a cosmic ray detector on the outside of the station, and install a protective shield around the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3. This adapter will host a new global docking port for the arrival of commercial crew spacecraft.
Mission Control stressed throughout the day that Fischer's suit was fine and that the leak was confined to the umbilical hose.
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"All of the major work has been accomplished", Navias said.
The spacewalk is the ninth of Whitson's career. This is also the 9th time Whitson has taken part in a spacewalk, extending her record as the American woman with the most spacewalks in history.
Whitson and Fischer completed the first and most important spacewalk task faster than usual.
In light of that, it's pretty awesome that there haven't been any astronaut or cosmonaut deaths or serious injuries during spacewalks since they began at the station in 1998. All while the station zips around Earth at around 17,000 miles per hour. "They created this wonderful floating laboratory in the sky that we call home, and [did] one heck of a job".