STATES CHRONICLE – Peggy Whitson, a NASA astronaut, has recently established a new record regarding woman’s spacewalking. On March 30, she established a new record when she together with Shane Kimbrough decided to spacewalk outside the ISS for the second time in the last seven days. They got outside the space station at 7:29 a.m. EDT, spending over seven hours performing some tasks outside the ISS.
Peggy Whitson surpassed the record set by Suni Williams for woman’s spacewalking
After 4 hours and 23 minutes into the ISS mission, Peggy Whitson established a new record for accumulated spacewalking time as a female astronaut. Previously, Suni Williams, another NASA astronaut had set the record with 50 hours and 40 minutes. After completing her 8th spacewalk, she annihilated that record having a total number of spacewalking hours of 53 and 22 minutes.
The spacewalk from March 30 was bound to mark the work developed at the ISS for preparing the space station to accommodate a commercial spaceship. This work started on March 24 when Kimbrough decided to disconnect electrical connections and cables on the Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 (PMA-3) that was resettled by using the robotic arm of the ISS.
Whitson spent 53 hours and 22 minutes in eight missions
The mission was successful, but, nevertheless, the spacewalk was not a total victory since the two astronauts lost some tools in space. Now that the PMA-3 is prepared at the Harmony module, Whitson finalized installing the device by re-establishing the connections between the cables. Moreover, she also took out the thermal cover of the PMA-4 and deposited it to make enough room for the new International Docking Adapter which will arrive in 2018.
She did not realize that the protective cover removed would have been useful if things had happened to not work as planned. After Kimbrough installed a new external computer, he and Whitson decided to meet at the airlock to recollect two pairs of axial shields which they carried over to the Tranquility module where PMA-3 was previously situated.
After they removed the PMA-3, the docking port at Node 3 remained uncovered and the shields were used to protect it from micrometeoroids. Unfortunately, one of these shields had accidently slipped away. However, NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston offered them a solution right on the spot. They retracted the cover which was removed from PMA-3 and they wrapped it over the uncovered portion of Node 3. After all, the spacewalk was successful, accomplishing the mission they had.
Image courtesy of: flickr