CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Astronauts squeezed in just one past spacewalk Tuesday before turning their awareness to the all-important finish to SpaceX’s 1st crew flight.
Earning their fourth and remaining spacewalk in less than a thirty day period, NASA’s Bob Behnken and Chris Cassidy whipped by a wide variety of routine maintenance responsibilities exterior the Intercontinental Place Station.
Rather of swapping batteries, they routed cables, hooked up a device storage chest and taken off thermal shielding from a docking port that will residence a commercial airlock later this calendar year.
Behnken had to scrape away a shiny metallic blob — some form of debris — from the spherical rim of the port. This port is the future home of a domed airlock presented by the Houston-primarily based company Nanoracks to release satellites and experiments into open space.
SpaceX will launch this initially-at any time industrial airlock this tumble.
It was the 10th spacewalk in each and every astronaut’s career, tying the U.S. report set by prior space station inhabitants. Tuesday’s 5 1/2-hour outing put Behnken’s overall time out in the vacuum of room at 61 hours and Cassidy’s at approximately 55 several hours.
“It’s a little much more relaxed on the 10th one particular than the initially one,” stated Cassidy. “The view’s constantly incredible, nevertheless.”
In less than two weeks, Behnken and Doug Hurley, who monitored the spacewalk from inside of, will depart the orbiting complicated in the similar SpaceX Dragon crew capsule in which they arrived at the close of May perhaps.
SpaceX is aiming for a splashdown off the Florida coast in August — the initially splashdown for astronauts in 45 years.
Weather allowing, the Dragon capsule will parachute into the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida Panhandle.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine mentioned when Tuesday’s spacewalk is finished, the astronauts are “going to be focused like a laser on coming house.”
Bridenstine mentioned the SpaceX exam flight has absent exceedingly nicely so far. “And I’m knocking on wooden due to the fact it is not around until finally Bob and Doug are residence,” he explained at a House Basis panel discussion Monday
The first-stage booster used to start Behnken and Hurley on May 30 blasted off for a next time Monday from Cape Canaveral. It landed on a floating platform in the Atlantic soon after hoisting a satellite for South Korea’s armed forces, to be employed once more for yet another flight.
Cassidy and two Russians will continue to be aboard the orbiting lab till Oct.