United States astronauts begin 200th spacewalk at International Space Station

Posted May 13, 2017

On Friday, Expedition 51 Flight Engineer Jack Fischer and Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson of NASA will go on the 200th ISS spacewalk on Friday morning to replace an avionics box that routes command and data information to external science experiments.

The spacewalk began at 9.08 a.m., about one hour after the planned start time, and ended at 1:21 p.m.

Mission Control stressed throughout the day that Fischer's suit was fine and that the leak was confined to the umbilical hose.

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 glitch affected equipment known as the servicing and cooling umbilical (SCU), which supplies power and oxygen to the spacesuits, discovered as the astronauts were seated in the airlock inside the space station. These include replacing a large avionics box that supplies electricity and data connections for various onboard science experiments, and installing a fabric shield created to protect against micrometeorites on one of the spacecraft's pressurized mating adapters.

The first United States spacewalk started at 3:45 p.m. EDT on the third orbit when White opened the hatch and used the hand-held manuevering oxygen-jet gun to push himself out of the capsule.

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In light of that, it's pretty wonderful that there haven't been any astronaut or cosmonaut deaths or serious injuries during spacewalks since they began at the station in 1998.

"This is incredible, to be able to do the 200th EVA [extra-vehicular activity] on board the space station", Whitson said as the spacewalk came to an end. This marked Fischer's first spacewalk, and he could be heard on NASA's live stream soaking in Earth's beauty from 250 miles above the planet. The spacewalk was Whitson's ninth, a USA record for most spacewalks by a female astronaut.

After the first three minutes the fuel ran out and White maneuvered by twisting his body and pulling on the tether.

The first spacewalk at the ISS took place on December 7, 1998, and nearly two decades later, humanity continues to maintain our outpost in the heavens.

An issue with some gear inside the airlock ahead of the spacewalk forced mission managers to delay the start time and shorten the walk in space.

The first spacewalk ever conducted at the station was on December 7 that year.