The Canadarm2 robotic arm of the International Space Station provides astronaut Ricky Arnold with an elevator during a spacewalk on June 14, 2018.
] Two NASA The astronauts took a spacewalk today (June 14) to continue preparations for the arrival of the first commercial manned vehicles to be launched at the International Space Station (ISS) later this year.
Expedition 56 Cmdr. Drew Feustel and flight engineer Ricky Arnold left the ISS through the Quest airlock after changing their space suits to battery power at 8:06 a.m. EDT (1206 GMT). They spent 6 hours and 49 minutes working in the vacuum of space.
Some technical difficulties delayed them, but the two spacewalkers completed all the tasks assigned for the day and even had some time left for a few tasks to get ahead. They spent some time struggling with a panel stuck in a micrometeoroid shield, which was stuck and that needed to be closed. [Expedition 56: The Space Station Mission in Photos]
Flight controllers were considering giving up the annoying door so astronauts could move on to other important tasks, but Feustel was not willing to give up the stubborn panel. With a little nudge and a lot of determination, he put that panel in place. "I think I have it!" Feustel exclaimed while recovering his breath after the great feat.
Feustel's most notable achievement came a few hours later, when he outgrew the accumulated time of NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, taking him from seventh place to third on the list of most experienced spacewalkers. "Feustel has now moved to the third position in terms of the spacewalk of all time," said NASA commentator Dan Huot during a live broadcast of the spacewalk. He also surpassed Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and NASA astronauts Jerry Ross and John Grunsfeld.
Feustel spent a total of 61 hours and 48 minutes working in the vacuum of space, or 1 hour and 21 minutes longer than Whitson. It was the ninth spacewalk of Feustel's career as a NASA astronaut. Arnold, who completed his fifth spacewalk today, has accumulated a total of 32 hours and 4 minutes of spacewalk.
Arnold and Feustel have already completed three consecutive spacewalks this year. For the last two spacewalks, Feustel was designated as EV-1 (extravehicular crew member 1), and Arnold was EV-2. Today, however, the roles were reversed. "Welcome to be the first to emerge from hatching," Feustel told Arnold when they left Quest Lock this morning. To make it easier to distinguish the two spacewalkers, the space suit for EV-1 has red stripes, while the space suit for EV-2 is pure white.
The main objectives of today's spacewalk were to install new supports and high-definition cameras outside the Harmony module, where Crew Dragon from SpaceX and CST-100 Starliner from Boeing will begin arriving in August.
After the first test flights without armor, these two spacecraft will start transporting astronauts in 2020. NASA hired both companies to design and build these spacecraft end the dependence of the agency of the Soyuz spacecraft of Russia, that transported all the US astronauts UU since the ferry program ended in 2011.
For commercial crew ships to dock with the Harmony module – in a port Originally built to accommodate only space shuttles, the astronauts had to adapt it by installing an International Docking Adapter (IDA) during a spacewalk in 2016. Cameras urges During today's spacewalk will help the arrival of spacecraft with the IDA while docking at the space station.
In addition, the cameras will provide access to wireless networks to experiments outside the Columbus laboratory of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japanese Experiments Module. Exposed installation.
– Intl. Space station (@Space_Station) June 14, 2018
Some of the best views of today's spacewalk, which was broadcast live on NASA television, came when Arnold mounted the Canadarm2 robotic arm to replace a camera and a light too far from an astronaut's reach attached to the body. principal of the ISS. His crew from Expedition 56, NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor and ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, controlled Canadarm2 from inside the space station to give Arnold a boost.
Back at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen – the first Danish person in flying into space-served as a capsule communicator (CAPCOM) and helped guide spacewalkers in their day's tasks.
"Andy, where are we? The world?" Feustel asked as the space station passed over turquoise blue waters and a chain of islands.
"We are in the Caribbean," responded Mogensen.
"Okay, I was just wondering what islands I was looking at … thanks for not saying" space station "," Feustel said.
When Mogensen informed the spacewalkers that they were passing through the Great Lakes, Feustel shouted at his friends and family at home. "Hi, Detroit!" he said.
Feustel and Arnold squeezed as many preparation tasks as they could before returning to the sealed chamber. The spacewalk officially ended at 2:55 p.m. EDT (1855 GMT) when they disconnected their space suits from the battery. This was the spacewalk 211 in support of the assembly and maintenance of the International Space Station.