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Watch astronaut Kate Rubins spacewalk 261 miles over South America

For regular folks in regular times, a Sunday outing might include a trip to the mall or the park. Kate Rubins, on the other hand, spacewalked 261 miles above Venezuela.

The NASA astronaut was carrying out work on the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS) together with crewmate Victor Glover. The tasks included work on assembling and installing modification kits needed for upcoming solar array upgrades.

NASA streamed all 7 hours and 4 minutes of the spacewalk — or extravehicular activity (EVA) as they’re known in the business — which ended at 1:16 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 28. With the ISS orbiting Earth about once every 90 minutes, it means the pair traveled around our planet nearly five times during their time outside the space-based laboratory.

NASA posted some cool footage and images on the space station’s Twitter feed as the walk progressed, including this dramatic video clip showing Rubins outside the ISS as it passed over South America.

As astronaut Kate Rubins continues work to secure a bolt on the bracket support structures at the base of the solar arrays, the @Space_Station is flying 261 miles over Venezuela and is about to pass over Brazil.

— NASA (@NASA) February 28, 2021

Rubins, identifiable by the red strips on her spacesuit, was first out of the hatch at the start of the EVA, with Glover following close behind.

.@Astro_Kate7 is the first out the hatch for today's spacewalk. She can be identified in the suit with the red stripes. @AstroVicGlover will be in the suit with no stripes. #AskNASA |

— International Space Station (@Space_Station) February 28, 2021

During the EVA, NASA showed the difference between the standard and high-definition views on Rubins’ helmet camera.

A comparison of the standard and high definition views from the helmet camera on @Astro_Kate7's spacesuit. #AskNASA |

— International Space Station (@Space_Station) February 28, 2021

Below we see both Rubins and Glover working on the exterior of the orbiting outpost during their spacewalk on Sunday. “They’re installing bracket support structures at the base of the station’s solar arrays, to enable future upgrades to the arrays,” NASA says in the tweet.

A look at both @NASA_Astronauts working outside the @Space_Station today: Kate Rubins & @AstroVicGlover. They're installing bracket support structures at the base of the station's solar arrays, to enable future upgrades to the arrays.

— NASA (@NASA) February 28, 2021

Here we see a close-up view of the two astronauts carrying out preparation work for new solar arrays that will soon be installed on the space station.

.@NASA_Astronauts are working together to attach bracket and support struts at the base of the station's solar arrays to enable new solar arrays to be installed in the future. #AskNASA |

— International Space Station (@Space_Station) February 28, 2021

Below, we can see Rubins and Glover finishing up for the day.

Some great views of the spacewalkers as they complete their last task today and prepare for the next spacewalk to continue the work installing these modification kits for upcoming solar array upgrades to station. #AskNASA |

— International Space Station (@Space_Station) February 28, 2021

And finally, we see Rubins returning to the interior of the ISS via the Quest airlock. Glover returned shortly before.

As the sun sets on station, Astronaut Kate Rubins enters the Quest airlock getting ready to conclude today's spacewalk.

— International Space Station (@Space_Station) February 28, 2021

NASA later deemed the spacewalk a success. The spacewalk marked the third such outing for both Rubins and Glover. Including Sunday’s work, Rubins has now spent a total of 19 hours and 50 minutes spacewalking, while Glover has spent 19 hours and 20 minutes outside.

“Space station crew members have conducted 235 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory,” NASA said on Sunday, adding, “Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 61 days, 14 hours, and 11 minutes working outside the station.”

While spacewalks are hugely important for the ISS to ensure it keeps operating safely and efficiently, astronauts of course spend most of their time on the inside of the habitable artificial satellite. Find out more about life on the International Space Station via this collection of videos made by the astronauts themselves.

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