While the official purpose of Wednesday's spacewalk was to replace a power regulator and do a bit of structural housecleaning, I'm fairly certain the unofficial theme was, "How many unusual perspective photographs can we take?"
Top image: Wiseman in the reflection of Wilmore's helmet. Wilmore captioned the photo: "The ONLY thing you can't see in my visor is the HUGE smile on my face. EVA28 was amazing!" Credit: NASA
Wilmore (upper left) and Wiseman (lower right) are dwarfed by the space station's enormous solar panels during Wednesday's spacewalk. Image credit: NASA
NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman and Barry "Butch" Wilmore clung to the outside of the International Space Station on Wednesday during the second spacewalk of October. They replaced a failed power regulator, and started clearing off the port side of the station truss in preparation for the eventual arrival of new commercial crew vehicles.
As always, both Wiseman outside the station and Alexander Gerst inside the station provided commentary, highlighting how similar-yet-surreal everything is living in orbit far about the Earth. But possibly the best part of this spacewalk is all the great perspectives in photos, from astronauts mirrored in reflective helmet visors to looking down the arm of a solar array into the blackness of space.
Starting at 8:15 am Eastern Time on Wednesday, the focus of the 6-hour, 34-minute was to replace a failed sequential shut unit on the station's integrated truss structure. The unit regulates power for the 3A solar array, taking it from seven up to its full eight power channels again. Replacing the unit could only happen when the station was in the Earth's shadow, so that no electricity was being generated by the solar array.
Wilmore (left) and Wiseman (right) setting tools into the airlock, putting their spacesuits through a trial run, and otherwise preparing for their spacewalk. Image credit: NASA
Once power was fixed, the astronauts started clearing off the port side of the station truss. This is the first step in preparing for the relocation of the Leonardo Permanent Multipurpose Module (PPM) currently scheduled for next summer. All this is getting ready for installing new international docking adapters on the complex, setting up the station for commercial crew vehicles and adding an additional berthing port for cargo craft.
This was Wilmore's first spacewalk, and the second spacewalk for Wiseman after the 6 hours, 13 minutes he spent outside the station with Alex Gerst on October 7th. Russian cosmonauts Max Suraev and Engineer Alexander Samokutyaev will complete the third spacewalk this month on October 22nd.
No report on if the astronauts were required to knock three times before Gerst opened the airlock.
Wilmore and Wiseman celebrating their successful spacewalk. Image credit: NASA
Read about the details about the EVA28 spacewalk here.