200th Station Spacewalk Comes to an End

The International Space Station

This will be the ninth spacewalk for Whitson and the first for Fischer.

NASA Astronaut Jack Fischer appears to play air guitar during the International Space Station's 200th spacewalk. Live coverage of the milestone event will begin in the stream above at around 6.30AM ET, with the spacewalk itself scheduled to start 8AM and continue for six-and-a-half hours.

The problem involved "a small water leak" in a service and cooling umbilical (SCU) that charges up Fischer's spacesuit, so Whitson and Fischer had to share one SCU.

Fischer and Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson of NASA will exit the station's Quest airlock to replace an avionics box that routes command and data information to external science experiments.

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Astronauts sped through the landmark 200th spacewalk at the International Space Station, after a glitch in preparations left them looking at a shortened trip outside.

'It has been exhibiting some thermal issues of late, so it is being replaced, ' explained Navias.

Whitson and Fischer completed the first and most important spacewalk task faster than usual.

In light of that, it's pretty awesome that there haven't been any astronaut or cosmonaut deaths or serious injuries during spacewalks since they began at the station in 1998.

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The spacewalk officially began at 9:08 a.m. EDT. The 57-year-old Whitson has also spent more days off the planet than any other woman (more than 500 days in total) and will be recognizable by the red stripes on her space suit. Initially, White propelled himself to the end of the 8-meter tether and back to the spacecraft three times using the hand-held gun.

The spacewalkers "breezed through" and mananged to get to all of the major tasks originally planned for the spacewalk, despite the wrinkles at the beginning and limited time available, an announcement at Johnson Space Center in Houston said. NASA is especially wary of leaks involving spacesuits.

The firs spacewalk in support of ISS assembly and maintenance was December 7, 1998 during a mission by the crew of the space shuttle Endeavour.

Today, the $100 billion orbiting lab is roughly the size of a football field and a symbol of global cooperation among the 15 nations that have helped build and operate it.

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"Oh my gosh, this is handsome", Fischer said as he worked 250 miles above the planet.

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