“Any time an astronaut gets out of a vehicle while in space, it is called a spacewalk. A spacewalk is also called an EVA. EVA stands for extravehicular activity,” this is how the official website of NASA defines the meaning of spacewalk. On Friday, 12 May 2017, NASA succeeded in creating history with 2 astronauts making the 200th spacewalk. Although there were few glitches in the beginning but NASA dodged the microgravity curveball and hit a home run.
There are several reasons for which astronauts go on spacewalks. While still being in space, astronauts get to work outside their spacecraft during spacewalks. Scientific experiments are carried out in the environment other than that of the spacecraft. This develops a knowledge and understanding for the astronauts about different things and how they are affected by being in space.
“Two US astronauts overcame an early equipment glitch to complete an abbreviated spacewalk outside the International Space Station on Friday, accomplishing all the major tasks initially planned for a longer excursion in four hours,” NASA said.
Originally the spacewalk was expected to be of six and half hours. It started more than an hour late because of a technical glitch. Two astronauts, Station Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Jack Fischer completed the 200th spacewalk and created history.
“A cable supplying power and cooling water to Fischer’s spacesuit developed a leak,” explained NASA. Fisher had to share servicing system of Whitson’s spacesuit, this resulted in the burning of their battery power a lot faster than usual. This, in turn, shortened their outing and their assigned tasks.
Fischer addressed the end of the 200th spacewalk saying, “How far the space station has come and all the astronauts and support personnel down on Earth over the years.”
He added, “It’s humbling to be a part of their legacy.”
250 miles above us, another record was set. Peggy Whitson completed her ninth (9th) successful spacewalk, which is the most by any female astronaut ever.
“Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 1,247 hours and 55 minutes working outside the station during 200 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. The first spacewalk in support of International Space Station assembly and maintenance was conducted on Dec. 7, 1998, by NASA astronauts Jerry Ross and Jim Newman during space shuttle Endeavour’s STS-88 mission. Astronauts completed attaching and outfitting of the first two components of the station, the Russian Zarya module and the U.S. Unity module,” wrote Mark Garcia in a report by NASA.