Every morning I wake up at 6am to go for a run. This morning, however, I was feeling a little tired after staying up way too late last night editing, so I decided I would just go for a walk. I breathed in the cold air and listened to the sounds of the birds waking up, watched the pale pink clouds dissolve in the morning light. When I got back, I picked up my phone and thumbed through my Twitter feed and saw that some Russian cosmonauts were taking a walk too: a spacewalk.
Infinitely more badass than me, “[Russian] cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Yuri Malenchenko will conduct a 6.5 hour spacewalk to complete maintenance and repairs on the exterior of the space station.” They’ll be installing new micrometeoroid debris shields to protect the Russian Zvezda service module and moving a hand-operated crane to make room for a new laboratory module.
If they manage to finish early, Padalka and Malenchenko will be able to collect two experiments that have been placed outside of the station to see how different materials respond to a vacuum of space. And if they’re really ahead of schedule, “the cosmonauts may also ‘launch’ a small spherical satellite […]” And all I did on my walk was find a few pretty rocks on the beach.
You can watch the spacewalk live on NASA TV and on channel 101 for most cable and satellite providers. The spacewalk started at 10:40 EST this morning and is scheduled to end at 5:10pm, so make sure you catch a few minutes before it’s over!