Spacewalk Prepares ISS For Commercial Crew

Astronauts are updating shuttle-era docks for future commercial crew spacecraft.

Spacewalk Prepares ISS For Commercial Crew

Astronauts took a spacewalk Friday, gearing up the International Space Station for future commercial crew missions.

The astronauts are preparing an adapter for a second special docking collar — what's basically a parking spot for visiting spacecraft. It updates the ports the space shuttle used to dock with the station. The first one was installed last year.

A close-up of bacteria

Germs Love The International Space Station

Microorganisms thrive in the low-stress environment of microgravity.


Commercial crew vehicles like SpaceX's Dragon crew capsule and Boeing's Starliner, which will transport future astronauts to the ISS, will use the adapter to dock at the station.

This is the first of three spacewalks. The second spacewalk, scheduled for April 2, will move the adapter to a new location on the ISS.