NASA astronauts got a "pretty awesome" view of SpaceX's Crew Dragon vehicle docked with the International Space Station during a spacewalk on Friday (June 29).
Astronauts Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken got the view of a lifetime when they stepped outside the space station to replace the outpost's old solar array batteries. The star of that view was Endeavour, the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft that delivered Behnken and his fellow NASA astronaut Doug Hurley to the station May 30 on their Demo-2 mission.
Cassidy snapped a photo of the sight, with Endeavour clearly straight ahead but JAXA's HTV-9 cargo vehicle also visible. In the photo, pictured just below the craft, you can see the stunning, blue curvature of the Earth.
"Yesterday @Astro_SEAL snapped this shot from our worksite on @Space_Station' - @SpaceX's Crew Dragon and @JAXA_en's HTV in clear view. Not bad for a view while working..." Behnken wrote June 27, the day after the spacewalk, on Twitter.
Today (June 29), when asked about the most memorable moments from this spacewalk during a media conference from aboard the space station, Behnken noted this view as one of those moments.
"Chris and I had a great event last Friday and a wonderful view of Dragon," Behnken said. "It was just awesome to be able to look back and snap a picture and I think we got a good daylight shot that kind of showed HTV and Dragon all out there on the front of space station. It was pretty awesome."
The pair stepped out for this spacewalk to swap out aging nickel-hydrogen batteries for new, more efficient, smaller lithium-ion batteries as part of a series of battery swap spacewalks. Behnken and Cassidy will venture out on another battery swap spacewalk Wednesday (July 1).
Yesterday @Astro_SEAL snapped this shot from our worksite on @Space_Station – @SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and @JAXA_en’s HTV in clear view. Not bad for a view while working… pic.twitter.com/DsV5owA3P9June 27, 2020
While Behnken and Hurley, who assisted with the spacewalk from aboard the space station, remain on orbit, Endeavour will continue to go through tests as the Demo-2 mission is a test flight for the vehicle. But, as Behnken said today during the media conference, "our ship has performed really well. I think they've had a lot of predict[ion]s in terms of how it would behave with respect to temperature, how it would behave with respect to radiation for the computers and electronics that's onboard. And that's really proceeded as expected."
He added that Endeavour's positive performance has been "the thing that really gives Doug and I continued confidence in the vehicle."
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