The crew aboard the International Space Station have carried out a five-and-a-half hour walk in space. It is the first since they arrived three months ago. Wearing pressurised space suits, NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao and cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov opened the hatch as the outpost soared over the southern Atlantic Ocean.
Topping the pair’s “to-do” list was the installation of a work platform to the outside of a service module that holds a small robotic arm. The space walk was broadcast on NASA Television, with commentary from mission control in Houston and translation from the Russian HQ in Korolev.
Before returning to the station, Chiao and Sharipov inspected some vents, to see if they could pinpoint any debris that may be affecting the troubled oxygen generator. Today’s was the first of two space walks. The next outing is planned for March.