Astronaut Peggy Whitson's Record-Breaking Spacewalk in Pictures

Heading Out for a Spacewalk


NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson took a spacewalk on March 30. Whitson broke the record for cumulative spacewalk time by a woman, and Kimbrough accidentally lost a meteoroid shield that prompted some improvisational craftsmanship.

U.S. EVA #41


Cmdr. Shane Kimbrough was EV-1,

In the Airlock


Before the spacewalkers headed out for the day, European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet helped them suit up and head out the door. Pesquet took this photo of Kimbrough in the Quest airlock before the spacewalk.

Swapping Computers


Kimbrough replaces an old, external backup computer called Multiplexer-Demultiplexer (MDM) with a new computer unit called the Enhanced Processor and Integrated Communications (EPIC MDM).

A Ray of Sunshine


A beam of light shines on Whitson as she works to connect cables at the Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 (PMA-3).

PMA-3's Thermal Shield


Whitson removed and stowed PMA-3's thermal cover to make room for the new International Docking Adapter that is scheduled to arrive by 2018.



Kimbrough assists Whitson in stowing the thermal shield that she removed from PMA-3.

Pit Stop


Kimbrough's feet dangle out of the airlock as he retrieves axial shields to be installed on Node 3, where the removal of PMA-3 left the docking port exposed.



"Peggy, I don't have a shield," Kimbrough said as the axial shield he had lugged to Node 3 drifted away into space. A mix-up between similar-looking straps may have been the reason for this runaway piece of equipment.

Runaway Shield


The white speck in the center of this photo is the axial shield that got away.

Enter the Problem-Solvers


The EVA (extravehicular activity, or spacewalk) task team "brought out some replicas of the equipment on board and figured out the exact dimensions and were able to come up [in] real-time — while the EVA was going on — all of these procedures to cover up that exposed spot," NASA TV commentator Gary Jordan said during the spacewalk.

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Hanneke Weitering
Contributing expert

Hanneke Weitering is a multimedia journalist in the Pacific Northwest reporting on the future of aviation at and Aviation International News and was previously the Editor for Spaceflight and Astronomy news here at As an editor with over 10 years of experience in science journalism she has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.