NASA astronauts performing 200th spacewalk at ISS

A view of Earth from the International Space Station

On Dec. 7, 1998, NASA astronauts Jerry Ross and Jim Newman walked into space for the first spacewalk in support of the International Space Station.

The spacewalk will be broadcast on NASA Television and streamed live online.

Astronauts sped through the landmark 200th spacewalk at the International Space Station, after a glitch in preparations left them looking at a shortened trip outside.

Although the work was routine, it was a milestone for the ISS and Fischer.

Fischer and Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson of NASA will exit the station's Quest airlock to replace an avionics box that routes command and data information to external science experiments. That new component finally arrived late last month aboard Orbital ATK's commercial cargo ship, the S.S. John Glenn, named after the first American to orbit Earth. And that's just part of the mission. Soon, spacecraft launched from the USA will dock here to deliver future NASA astronauts.

The roughly four hour spacewalk included installing a communications antenna and a new High-definitional Camera.




Whitson, 57, broke the record for most cumulative time in space by an American astronaut in April of this year. Now, she has nine trips into outer space under her belt.

Whitson, who already holds the USA record for most spacewalks by a female astronaut, will make this ninth excursion as extravehicular crew member 1, wearing the suit with red stripes.

The pair have a few different repairs to carry out while trussed to the exterior of the ISS.

The spacewalk was originally slated to last six hours or so, but NASA is shortening it to about four hours.

Whitson, designated EV-1, will wear a spacesuit with red stripes, and carries a helmetcam designated No. 18. Fischer, EV-2, is wearing an unmarked suit and is using helmet cam 20.

The official start time, 9:08 am (1308 GMT), was about two hours after it was supposed to begin, according to NASA. That delayed things for a couple hours. "Wow, they're so blue", added the rookie spacewalker, who goes by the nickname "2Fish".

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