Astronauts Complete 6 Hour and 54 Minute Spacewalk To Install Space Station Upgrades

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Astronauts Raja Chari and Matthias Maurer are pictured replacing an external high-definition camera during a 6-hour 54-minute spacewalk today. Credit: NASA TV

Expedition 66 Flight Engineers Raja Chari of NASA and Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) concluded their spacewalk at 3:26 p.m. EDT on March 23, 2022, after 6 hours and 54 minutes in preparation for upcoming solar array installation.

Maurer and Chari completed their major objective for today to install hoses on a Radiator Beam Valve Module that routes ammonia through the station’s heat-rejecting radiators to keep systems at the proper temperature. The crew members also installed a power and data cable on the Columbus module’s Bartolomeo science platform, replaced an external camera on the station’s truss, and conducted other upgrades to station hardware. The pair deferred a few secondary tasks, such as torque resets and cable routing, to a future spacewalk.

It was the 248th spacewalk in support of space station assembly, upgrades, and maintenance, and was the second in Chari’s career and the first for Maurer. Chari and Maurer are in the midst of a planned six-month science mission living and working aboard the microgravity laboratory to advance scientific knowledge and demonstrate new technologies for future human and robotic exploration missions as part of NASA’s Moon and Mars exploration approach, including lunar missions through NASA’s Artemis program.

In the video above, recorded a few days ago, ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer shares a statement on his first spacewalk.

The spacewalk known as US EVA 80 saw the pair stepping outside the International Space and spending approximately six and a half hours working in space. Matthias was EV-2, wearing an all-white spacesuit, while Raja was lead spacewalker, known as EV-1, in a white spacesuit with red stripes.

Their tasks included installing hoses on a radiator beam valve module that routes ammonia through the Station’s heat-rejecting radiators to regulate system temperatures, installing a power and data cable on the Bartolomeo science platform outside ESA’s Columbus module, replacing an external camera on the Station’s truss, and conducting other upgrades to Station hardware.

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