In a major accomplishment, two astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS) successfully completed a marathon spacewalk of six hour 41 minutes outside the station while preparing the orbiting outpost for the arrival of commercial crewed spacecraft in the coming times.
According to the reports, the astronauts finished the first of the scheduled three spacewalks outside the space station as part of the mission to lay down the cables for the new docking adaptors that are likely to arrive in 2017.
NASA astronauts Terry Virts and Barry ‘Butch’ Wilmore completed their all tasks that were required for the first of three EVAs. With the successful spacewalk, the astronauts also managed to begin their to-do list for the next spacewalk which is scheduled for Wednesday.
According to NASA, both astronauts laid down the cables along the front side of the American segment that will provide accessibility to communication and power supply to the two International Docking Adaptors that are scheduled to be sent to the space station in June.
The set up would allow docking of the crew-carrying commercial spacecraft of Boeing and SpaceX with the space station when they are launched from Florida from 2017 onwards.
The spacewalk officially commenced at 1245 UTC (7:45 am EST) and completed at 1926 UTC (12:45 pm EST).
After the astronauts made safe return in the airlock, ESA astronaut Samantha took charge from within the space station and welcomed her crewmates back.
The third spacewalk has been scheduled for March 1.
While Wilmore made his second spacewalk, it was the first ever spacewalking experience for Virts.
Expedition 42 Commander Wilmore and Virts successfully completed eight of the ten cables. They deployed 340ft of 360ft of cable that has been laid for reconfiguring the space station for the new arrivals.