Washington, Feb 22: NASA astronauts at International Space Station (ISS) have successfully completed first of the three spacewalks to create parking spots for Boeing and SpaceX to deliver astronauts to the orbital laboratory.
The 6-hour, 41-minute-spacewalk by Expedition 42 astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts was meant to prepare the ISS for a pair of international docking adapters (IDAs) that will allow future commercial crew vehicles to dock.
"Wilmore and Virts ended their spacewalk with the repressurisation of the Quest airlock," NASA said. They rigged a series of power and data cables at the forward end of the Harmony module and Pressurised Mating Adapter-2 and routed 340 of 360 feet of cable.
The cable routing work is part of a reconfiguration of station systems and modules to accommodate the delivery of new docking adapters that commercial crew vehicles will use later this decade to deliver astronauts to the orbital laboratory.
The spacewalk was the first for Virts. Wilmore now has spent 13 hours and 15 minutes in the void of space during two spacewalks.
Astronauts have now spent a total of 1,159 hours and 8 minutes conducting space station assembly and maintenance during 185 spacewalks, NASA said.
The duo will venture outside the space station again on February 25 to deploy two more cables and lubricate the end of the space station's robotic arm.