Space

NASA Completes Milestone 200th ISS Spacewalk

Two NASA astronauts did some maintenance on the International Space Station, including preparations for future commercial crew spacecraft.

NASA Completes Milestone 200th ISS Spacewalk
NASA
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NASA celebrated an important milestone Friday: its 200th spacewalk on the International Space Station.

Astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer did some maintenance on the ISS, including work on an adapter for a new international docking port for commercial crew spacecraft.

Friday's spacewalk might seem a bit routine compared to NASA's first ISS spacewalk in 1998 when astronauts were putting the station together. They attached the first two components of the station: a Russian module and a U.S. one.

NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson Keeps Breaking Space Records

NASA Astronaut Peggy Whitson Keeps Breaking Space Records

Whitson has now spent the most cumulative time in space of any American.

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Spacewalks have come a long way. During NASA's first-ever spacewalk in 1965, astronaut Ed White ventured out of the Gemini IV spacecraft, propelling himself with a hand-held oxygen jet-tank. The tank ran out of fuel after three minutes, and White had to pull himself back to the capsule by his tether.

Friday's spacewalk comes at a time of uncertainty for the ISS. Congress extended NASA's station operations until 2024 but hasn't decided what to do with the station beyond then. Officials suggested eventually transitioning the ISS from NASA to the private space industry.