Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) managed to complete humanity’s 200th spacewalk. They were able to do so although there were complications with the historic event from the very beginning. It began late, got cut short, and the two astronauts involved even had to share an umbilical cord to return to the station.
Humanity’s 200th Spacewalk Goes Off With a Bit of a Hitch
The mission had been planned for six and a half hours. But the NASA control had to cut it to four when a leak sprang in the water supply portion of Fischer’s umbilical. There are two for each astronaut, and they provide water, oxygen, cooling, communication, and power.
NASA made it clear throughout the procedure that Fischer was in no imminent danger, and that his suit was operating normally. However, the agency’s first rule is caution, so they decided to recall the spacewalkers. They had completed the removal of the faulty electronics box, but the avionics box remains for another mission.
This was Whitson’s ninth spacewalk, the most by any American woman, and Fischer’s first. Whitson ended up having to share her umbilical with Fischer as they returned inside the station to safety. Of course, the situation did not lessen Fischer’s first time floating free.
“Oh my gosh, this is beautiful,” he could be heard saying on the com. Whitson laughed and responded, “Isn’t it?”