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:
This clip shows Mann and Wakata working on the installation of the mounting platform:
Here’s a clear shot of both astronauts at work during the spacewalk:
This clip offers a fabulous view of Earth some 250 miles below:
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!”
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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