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.
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.
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.
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.