6 hours and 41 minutes have been allocated today by the Expedition 42 astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts who made a spacewalk for the purpose of preparing the ISS for a couple of International Docking Adapters (IDAs) that will come in handy for the upcoming commercial space vehicles to park themselves.
This has been the first out of the three spacewalks that were planned for reassembling components of the International Space Station. The two commercial space taxis are the Boeing and the Space Exploration Technology (Space X), and they will now have two parking spots.
On the 21st of February, the re-pressurization of the Quest airlock has taken place as 2.26 PM (EST), as well as the assembling of a sequence of power and data cables that belong to the Harmony module and “Pressurized Mating Adapter-2”. The amount of cable has been atrociously big: 340 feet of it, and there is more to come, even if they have organized themselves differently before the event.
NASA has stated that the cable routing work is part of the reestablishment of the station systems and modules.
“[the modules have to] accommodate the delivery of new docking adapters that commercial crew vehicles will use later this decade to deliver astronauts to the orbital laboratory.”
Another similar event will take place on the 25th February, when the same two scientists will be spending their day outside the station with the purpose of installing 2 additional cables and lubricating the robotic limb of the space station. However, these are not the first missions that Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts have succeeded in accomplishing: they have already spent 1,159 hours and 8 minutes until now for assembling the space station and making sure that the maintenance is taken care of, in the duration of 185 spacewalks.
The mission of the two taxis, The Boeing and Space X is to develop, test and fly, giving the hard working astronauts the chance to be docked back and forth from and to the station. For all these duties, they have obviously been received contracts.
The debut trial of the Dragon V2 passenger spacecraft is soon to be ready for its debut trial flight in the end of 2016. The construction of the station has begun in 1998 and every single move has been organized very meticulously, taking into consideration that the next spacewalks are already planned for Wednesday and March 1.
Image Source: NASA