Two astronauts successfully completed a spacewalk outside the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, March 23.
NASA astronaut Raja Chari and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer worked outside the orbiting outpost for 6 hours and 54 minutes before returning inside at 3:26 p.m. ET.
The entire spacewalk was livestreamed using cameras attached to the ISS as well as to the astronauts themselves. With the station orbiting Earth at 17,000 mph, the pair experienced around nine sunsets during their lengthy mission.
NASA tweeted a video clip showing Chari and Maurer fiddling with a cable as they worked together some 250 miles above Earth. The footage revealed the challenge of performing intricate tasks wearing bulky, pressurized gloves, and shows that astronauts need to have the patience of a saint in order to deal calmly with potentially frustrating situations.
Your task: cable management.
Your equipment: bulky, pressurized gloves.
Your location: space.
— NASA (@NASA) March 23, 2022
Below is another clip showing the kind of tricky tasks that crewmates sometimes have to take on during a spacewalk.
Maurer and Chari arrived at the ISS in November for what is their first space voyage. Wednesday’s spacewalk was Chari’s second having participated in one last week with NASA colleague Kayla Barron, while Maurer was stepping outside for the first time.
“Maurer and Chari completed their major objective for today to install hoses on a Radiator Beam Valve Module that routes ammonia through the station’s heat-rejecting radiators to keep systems at the proper temperature,” NASA said in a report on the spacewalk. “The crew members also installed a power and data cable on the Columbus module’s Bartolomeo science platform, replaced an external camera on the station’s truss, and conducted other upgrades to station hardware.”
The agency added that the two astronauts deferred a a number of secondary tasks, such as torque resets and cable routing, to a future spacewalk.
Wednesday’s effort was the 248th spacewalk in support of space station assembly, upgrades, and maintenance. Following a short rest, Chari and Maurer will resume work on science research aboard the space station until their return home in April.