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Spacewalk Recap Told in GIFs

Friday, Oct. 20, NASA astronauts Randy Bresnik and Joe Acaba ventured outside the International Space Station for a 6 hour and 49 minute spacewalk. Just like you make improvements to your home on Earth, astronauts living in space periodically go outside the space station to make updates on their orbiting home.

During this spacewalk, they did a lot! Here’s a recap of their day told in GIFs…

All spacewalks begin inside the space station. Astronauts Paolo Nespoli and Mark Vande Hei helped each spacewalker put on their suit, known as an Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU).

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They then enter an airlock and regulate the pressure so that they can enter the vacuum of space safely. If they did not regulate the pressure safely, the astronauts could experience something referred to as “the bends” – similar to scuba divers.

Once the two astronauts exited the airlock and were outside the space station, they went to their respective work stations.

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Bresnik replaced a failed fuse on the end of the Dextre robotic arm extension, which helps capture visiting vehicles.

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During that time, Acaba set up a portable foot restraint to help him get in the right position to install a new camera.

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While he was getting set up, he realized that there was unexpected wearing on one of his safety tethers. Astronauts have multiple safety mechanisms for spacewalking, including a “jet pack” on their spacesuit. That way, in the unlikely instance they become untethered from the station, the are able to propel back to safety.

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Bresnik was a great teammate and brought Acaba a spare safety tether to use.

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Once Acaba secured himself in the foot restraint that was attached to the end of the station’s robotic arm, he was maneuvered into place to install a new HD camera. Who was moving the arm? Astronauts inside the station were carefully moving it into place!

And, ta da! Below you can see one of the first views from the new enhanced HD camera…(sorry, not a GIF).

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After Acaba installed the new HD camera, he repaired the camera system on the end of the robotic arm’s hand. This ensures that the hand can see the vehicles that it’s capturing.

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Bresnik, completed all of his planned tasks and moved on to a few “get ahead” tasks. He first started removing extra thermal insulation straps around some spare pumps. This will allow easier access to these spare parts if and when they’re needed in the future.

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He then worked to install a new handle on the outside of space station. That’s a space drill in the above GIF. 

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After Acaba finished working on the robotic arm’s camera, he began greasing bearings on the new latching end effector (the arm’s “hand”), which was just installed on Oct. 5.

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The duo completed all planned spacewalk tasks, cleaned up their work stations and headed back to the station’s airlock. 

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Once safely inside the airlock and pressure was restored to the proper levels, the duo was greeted by the crew onboard. 

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They took images of their spacesuits to document any possible tears, rips or stains, and took them off. 

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Coverage ended at 2:36 p.m. EDT after 6 hours and 49 minutes. We hope the pair was able to grab some dinner and take a break!

You can watch the entire spacewalk HERE, or follow @Space_Station on Twitter and Instagram for regular updates on the orbiting laboratory. 

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.

Source: NASA

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Spacewalk Recap Told in GIFs

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