Next year, the International Space Station will celebrate its 20th birthday. That’s two full decades in orbit, housing some of the most important research and experiments NASA has yet to undertake in regard to the final frontier. Considering the hostile environment that is the merciless vacuum of space–what with all those Xenomorphs spewing acid and Sandra Bullock bouncing around all willy nilly–it’s impressive that the ISS has held up so well. Of course, it’s not for lack of upkeep; in these past 20 years, we’ve seen what now counts to 200 manned missions to install, repair, or replace the necessary components of the space station. In the industry, the astrologically savvy call these “space walks.” And if you wanna see one in action, now’s your chance.
Space walk veteran Peggy Whitson, a biochemist from Iowa who joined up with NASA in 1996 and has since broken the record for most time spent in space for any of the institution’s astronauts, and newbie Jack Fisher, a test pilot from Colorado, kicked off NASA’s 200th space walk at 9 am ET/6 am PT (though I’m not quite sure what that is in Space Time) on Friday morning. Their mission, if they choose to accept it–and of course they do! They’re scientists!–is to replace a large avionics box responsible for providing electricity and data connections to the ISS.
You can view the stream live over at NASA’s website. The walk is expected to clock in at four hours, so you should have plenty of time to check in to watch the most truly inspiring version of tech support imaginable.
Image: European Space Agency/Flickr
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