NASA Astronauts prepare for 200th spacewalk

Guillermo Lane
May 13, 2017

Jack Fischer received a degree in astronautical engineering at the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1996 and was one of two astronauts to conduct the 200th spacewalk for the ISS. The device - a bit unwieldy at more than 5 feet long - supplies electricity and data to science experiments on the outside of the station.

The leaky hose had to be disconnected before the spacewalk could begin.

The photograph was taken by astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency, who will assist the spacewalkers on Friday from inside the station. As a result, NASA officials made a decision to limit the time spent outside the station to roughly four hours - only enough time to accomplish the primary objective.

It is the ninth spacewalk in Whitson's career, and the first for Fischer. The spacewalk suffered a delayed start when one of the service and cooling "umbilicals" that charge up the spacesuits before exit sprung a small water leak, so the two astronauts had to trade off use of the other umbilical for power, oxygen, communications and cooling as they prepared to leave the airlock. He and Commander Peggy Whitson were fit checking their spacesuits in advance of Friday's spacewalk.

"Lot of curveballs this morning", NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren radioed to the crew from Mission Control in Houston.

The first piece of the International Space Station - a Russian module - was launched in 1998.

An issue with some gear inside the airlock ahead of the spacewalk forced mission managers to delay the start time and shorten the walk in space.

It was discovered as the astronauts were seated in the airlock inside the space station, before they ventured into the vacuum of space.

Today, the $100 billion orbiting lab is roughly the size of a football field and a symbol of global cooperation among the 15 nations that have helped build and operate it.

"Oh my gosh, this is handsome", Fischer said as he stepped out into space for the first time, saying his view is like "an enormous fondu pot bubbling over with piping hot awesome-sauce".

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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