We will be posting updates on today’s Spacewalk below:
11:55 The crew is 30 minutes ahead of schedule: Thomas (EV2) and Shane (EV1) are already in the Quest airlock. The spacewalk was planned to start at 13:05 (UTC +1); it may be advanced to 12:35. Having completed ‘prebreathing’ (see previous blog post), Thomas and Shane are in the process of depressurisation.
12:22 The outer hatch is open. Thomas and Shane are switching over to battery power. This marks the official start of the spacewalk.
12:29 Shane exits the station first. After he is joined by Thomas and they close the hatch cover, the first order is to a ‘buddy-check’ for the two spacewalkers to orient themselves in their new environment.
12:45 Whenever the number 20 appears in the bottom right of the screen (live broadcast), you are viewing the operations from the point of view of Thomas’s spacesuit. Shane’s spacesuit camera is number 18. The spacewalkers are guided by their capcom, ESA Astronaut Luca Parmitano.
12:52 Thomas and Shane have arrived at the adapter plates that they will move to the power channels for the upgrade.
13:05 Thomas and Shane are doing so-called work-site prep, which includes positioning tools.
13:10 Thomas and Shane are working on one of the get-ahead tasks they were assigned, re-positioning the SAB (Solar Array Blanket boxes) restraint.
13:14 Thomas is doing a glove inspection and HAP (Helmet Absorbency Pad) check. Astronauts frequently check their suits and especially their gloves as they are the most fragile and come into contact with the most objects. Even a small hole in a pressurised spacesuit in space is not a good idea. Glove and HAP checks checks will take place repeatedly throughout the spacewalk.
13:20 Shane has installed the foot-holder that the astronauts will use to hold on to the Station with their feet. Then Shane will make his way over to Thomas, who has meanwhile moved to the HTV-6 pallet with the adapter plates.
13:33 The first adapter plates (each weighing 84 pounds / 38 kgs) have been retrieved.
13:38 Shane and Thomas have attached the adapter plates to their spacesuits. They are going to change location to start the installation process.
13:46 Shane and Thomas are still 30-40 minutes ahead of the timeline.
13:48 Thomas joins Shane at the work-site for the installation.
13:58 Thomas and Shane are installing the first of three adapter plates.
14:00 First adapter plate successfully installed.
14:05 Check-out on the Li-On battery.
14:09 Thomas doing another get-ahead task. He is drawing bolts that hold the batteries in place, to keep them firmly affixed.
14:11 Thomas and Shane are now installing the 2nd adapter plate. The first battery is reporting good readings. Batteries weigh 364 pounds / 165 kgs, of course less of an issue in microgravity.
14:24 Thomas and Shane are two hours into their spacewalk and one hour ahead of the timeline.
14:40 Two of the major tasks have now been completed.
14:42 Thomas and Shane are getting ready to retrieve and install the third and final adapter plate.
15:00 Thomas and Shane are 1,5 hours ahead, giving them the time to do more get-ahead tasks which are typically less challenging. Thomas is going to go solo for this.
15:28 With the main tasks complete for today’s spacewalk, Thomas and Shane are starting on some extra tasks. Thomas is cleaning the work-site.
15:56 Thomas has retrieved a new bag from the airlock with a replacement part and is moving towards a failed camera light.
16:00 Shane is getting his foot restraint ready while Thomas arrives with the replacement camera light for him to install.
16:28 Thomas and Shane are working in the darkness as the International Space Station flies over Indonesia.
16:48 Luca asks Thomas and Shane to perform another buddy-check.
16:56 Thomas and Shane are inspecting their spacesuits before heading back to airlock to drop off some bags.
17:04 Thomas’s next task will be to photograph a mass of cables for later analysis.
17:18 Quick selfie session for Thomas on his first #spacewalk.
17:45 Thomas and Shane are instructed to move slowly in order to manage the CO2 levels in their suits.
18:00 Thomas and Shane are installing an airlock cover on Node 3 of the International Space Station as another extra task. In total, the two spacewalkers will have completed six extra tasks.
18:07 Thomas is back in the airlock.
18:21 After Thomas was joined by Shane, the airlock hatch has been closed and locked. The spacewalk has officially ended at 5 hours and 58 minutes. Now repressurisation of the airlock begins.
18:29 Peggy opens the interior airlock hatch.
18:33 Other crew members move the two spacewalkers inside and will begin to help them remove their spacesuits.
18:36 Peggy photographs the two spacewalkers’ gloves to document possible damage.
18:45 Peggy removes Thomas’s helmet.
18:51 Peggy has now helped both spacewalkers out of their helmets. Having removed Thomas’s spacesuit, both Thomas and Peggy proceed to help Shane.
18:54 The broadcast ends after a successful Spacewalk!