While we were all going about our day on Tuesday, two very lucky souls got to float around in orbit for a full six hours outside the International Space Station (ISS). Yeah, we're a little jealous.
As Space reports, NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman and German European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst performed the spacewalk to address some upgrades and work that was required from the outside of the station. It lasted just over six hours and was the first spacewalk for the duo.
As far as the specific tasks, the astronauts moved a failed pump module that had been removed from the space station's cooling system to a long-term storage area. As the report notes, the move will protect and insulate the piece in case a future crew fixes the module. The team finished a job begun in December 2013, when astronauts stored the pump on a different part of the station.
Along with taking care of maintenance, space station integration operations manager Kenny Todd noted that these space walks also serve a dual purpose. Namely, it’s preparing the crew for additional work once commercially crewed vehicles start arriving in the future and they have to move some areas:
“We're going to be doing the things we need to do on these EVAs to prep for moving some modules around. All that is in preparation for being able to support future [commercial] crewed vehicles coming to [the] station. We're trying to get out in front of that … We'll be prepping for moving modules; we'll be installing a new docking adapter system. All of that will be happening throughout the next several months onboard the station.”
Now, in case you missed the live stream yesterday, here are some highlights from the mission. Sure, not all of us can walk amongst the stars, but at least we can marvel at these folks as they float around in zero Gs.