Published: Fri, March 31, 2017
Science | By Kerry Wheeler

Astronaut Sets Spacewalk Record

Astronaut Sets Spacewalk Record

Altogether, over three trips to the ISS, Ms Whitson has now spent over a year in space, and she recently said her body is adapting quicker this time around since her last trip in 2008.

NASA said it would be monitored to make sure it doesn't come back and hit the station.

A five-foot (1.5-meter) debris shield being installed on the International Space Station floated away on Thursday during a spacewalk by two veteran US astronauts, a NASA TV broadcast showed.

"Thank you guys, you did an wonderful job, you had to deal with, obviously, the issue early on and came up with a great plan", Kimbrough radioed flight controllers.

The first spacewalk took place March 24 with Kimbrough and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

The latching end effector on the Canadarm2 robotic arm will be lubricated by the two spacewalkers, who will also inspect a radiator valve suspected of a small ammonia leak.

Active on her Twitter account, @AstroPeggy, Whitson often writes about how research at the space station relates to everyday life, and how she travels the world as part of her astronaut training.

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According to NASA, each fabric shield weighs 18 pounds.

The cloth bundle was one of four being installed in a docking port to protect against meteorite debris.

The objective of the spacewalk was to adjust a docking port, which will essentially be a parking spot for SpaceX and Boeing commercial crew capsules, the AP reports.

During today's spacewalk, Whitson hooked up heater cables and remove a thermal cover from PMA-3 while Kimbrough installed an upgraded computer relay box in the station's power truss. The astronauts filled the gap using the cover that they had just removed from the relocated docking port.

Dr. Whitson broke a record set by Sunita Williams who previous held the record for most spacewalks by a female astronaut. Whitson is scheduled to complete a ninth walk on April 6.

This will serve as the second of two docking ports for the future SpaceX and Boeing crew capsules. She's been in orbit since November. The first flight could occur as early as next year.

Whitson, meanwhile, has set a new spacewalking record for women. This is her third space station stint. Shipper Orbital ATK is relying on the United Launch Alliance's Atlas V to haul up the goods.

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