A day ago, on August 21st, two astronauts conducted a spacewalk outside the International Space Station (ISS) to set up a new docking port for the future commercial spaceships made by Boeing and SpaceX. NASA is planning to use Boeing’s Starliner capsule and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Spacecraft to transport astronauts from Earth to the ISS and back shortly.
ISS Astronauts Took A Spacewalk To Install New Docking Port For Commercial Spaceships
The International Docking Adapter-3, abbreviated IDA-3, is a spacecraft docking system adapter which was launched aboard SpaceX’s CRS-18 mission in July. This is the second docking port installed to the ISS in the past three years. The two astronauts that attached IDA-3 to the ISS were Nick Hague and Andrew Morgan and have been part of NASA since 2014, respectively 2013.
Their spacewalk mission lasted 6 hours and a half, time in which they have installed cables and massive reflectors. For Morgan, it was his first spacewalk, but for Hague, it was his third time outside the International Space Station. The third co-worker of the astronauts was Dextre, a robot with two arms that was created by Canada and was sent to the International Space Station 11 years ago, in 2008.
The Spacewalk Missions Ended Successfully, Without Any Issues
Fortunately, the NASA astronomers did not encounter any difficulties in installing the docking port, even though they feared that the solar heat might have damaged some of the cables that were protruding from the station. After the docking port, they went on to install a couple of reflectors that are expected to function as a visual aid the future spaceships.
Aboard the ISS are Christina Koch, a NASA astronaut, Alexey Ovchinin and Alexander Skvortsov, both Russian cosmonauts, and Luca Parmitano, an ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut. All are part of the Expedition 60 mission, and all are working together to undergo scientific experiments on rodents and stem cell differentiation.