British astronaut Tim Peake ‘exhilarated’ to make first spacewalk2 min read

LONDONBritish astronaut Tim Peake will make his first spacewalk on Friday to carry out work on broken solar units that need to be repaired.

The more than six hour spacewalk, known officially as an extravehicular activity (EVA), is a big step for Britain’s first official astronaut on the International Space Station.

He’ll carry out the assignment, attached to the space station with a steel cord, alongside Nasa astronaut (and namesake) Tim Kopra. As well as fixing the broken power unit, the pair will also lay cables for adapters that will accommodate the arrival of U.S. commercial crew vehicles.

Peake says they’ve been preparing for the spacewalk for weeks in space, and months before that on Earth, relying on a 40-page document detailing the timeline of the walk.

“Although I am exhilarated by tomorrow’s spacewalk I have no time to dwell on these emotions,” he wrote in a blog post Thursday.

“The six hours and thirty minutes we will work on the Space Station’s hull are meticulously planned and Tim and I need to execute each step methodically.”

The two astronauts will be in their spacesuits hours before the walk and will start breathing pure oxygen for a few hours before the walk, in order to get rid of all the nitrogen in their bodies.

To start the mission they’re put into an airlock and when they’re ready to start the mission they close the door tight behind them and open the second door. Throughout the walk they have water for drinking.

“As soon as we exit the airlock we will keep check on each other… relying on each other for assistance if something should go wrong,” Peake says about the buddy system used during missions.

The spacewalk gets underway at 7:55 a.m. ET (12:55 p.m. GMT) and can be watched live here.

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Sebastien Clarke
Sebastien Clarke

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