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Watch highlights of NASA’s second spacewalk of 2023

NASA has successfully completed its second spacewalk of the year at the International Space Station (ISS).

NASA astronaut Nicole Mann and Japan’s Koichi Wakata of NASA counterpart JAXA spent 6 hours and 41 minutes outside the orbital outpost on Thursday before returning inside at 2:26 p.m. ET.

The pair were able to complete their main task of finishing the construction of a mounting platform for a rollout solar array, and they also put in cables for the arrays. The tasks are part of ongoing work to upgrade the station’s power supply.

Four arrays have been installed to date, and two more will be fixed to the installed platforms during future spacewalks.

As usual, NASA livestreamed the entire spacewalk using cameras fixed to the astronauts’ helmets and also to the station itself. Live audio feeds from the astronauts were also provided, along with a commentary from Mission Control that explained what the pair were doing. NASA later shared several clips on social media.

Here we see Nicole Mann emerging from the station to begin the spacewalk:

Spacewalkers @AstroDuke and @Astro_Wakata officially began their spacewalk today at 7:45am ET to complete tasks begun on the previous spacewalk and set up for future solar array installation that will help boost power for @ISS_Research. ☀️🔧 More info..

— International Space Station (@Space_Station) February 2, 2023

This clip shows Mann and Wakata working on the installation of the mounting platform:

Nearly three hours into the spacewalk, Mann and Wakata are working together to drive the collar bolts that will rigidize the mounting structure, preparing it to hold the roll-out solar array that will be installed later this year. 🔩🔧

— International Space Station (@Space_Station) February 2, 2023

Here’s a clear shot of both astronauts at work during the spacewalk:

About five hours into today's spacewalk, astronauts @AstroDuke and @Astro_Wakata continue installing hardware to prepare the space station for its next roll-out solar array.

— International Space Station (@Space_Station) February 2, 2023

This clip offers a fabulous view of Earth some 250 miles below:

The astronaut work trip so far is 10/10 for scenery and 0/10 for gravity.

Tune in as @AstroDuke and @Astro_Wakata make updates to the @Space_Station.

— NASA (@NASA) February 2, 2023

Wakata later tweeted: “It was a great day of spacewalk! Honor to work with the entire EVA team that put together the excellent ops plan and executed it. Thank you!”

It was a great day of spacewalk! Honor to work with the entire EVA team that put together the excellent ops plan and executed it. Thank you!

— 若田光一 WAKATA Koichi (@Astro_Wakata) February 2, 2023

This was the 259th spacewalk in support of space station assembly, upgrades, and maintenance since the station started operating more than two decades ago.

Mann and Wakata arrived at the ISS in October as part of SpaceX’s Crew-5. This was only their second spacewalk, with both embarking on their first adventure outside the station on January 20. The current space mission is the fifth for Wakata and the first for Mann, who with October’s flight became the first Native American woman to reach orbit.

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Trevor Mogg
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