ABOVE PLANET EARTH |  Have you ever wanted to walk in outer space?  Have you dreamed about what it is like to jog while orbiting our planet Earth?

Lucky you. Since this past January 2017, NASA astronauts and flights engineers on board the spacecraft Expedition 50 have been fulfilling those daydreams and showing us how it goes to suit up for orbit.

And NASA released their exclusive photos to share with the world.

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough on Jan. 13, 2017 spacewalk
Image Credit: ESA/NASA | Last updated Jan. 17, 2017

 

Above the Earth’s atmosphere early this year, 3 astronauts boldly walked where ordinary people have walked before.  

Consider these 3 extraordinarily fun moments:

January 6, 2017
NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson was seen during a spacewalk during Expedition 50 aboard the International Space Station. Whitson and fellow NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough successfully installed gizmos that juiced up the International Space Station. They accomplished several get-ahead tasks, including a photo survey of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.  For Whitson, this event marked her seventh spacewalk.

Astronaut Shane Kimbrough during a January 13 spacewalk.

January 13, 2017
Expedition 50’s Commander Shane Kimbrough from NASA and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency concluded their spacewalk at 12:20 p.m. EST. During the nearly six hour spacewalk, the two astronauts successfully installed three new adapter plates and hooked up electrical connections for three of the six new lithium-ion batteries on the International Space Station.

This was the second spacewalk in a week for Kimbrough and the fourth of his career, and the first for Pesquet.  Collectively, these astronauts were also able to stow padded shields from Node 3 outside of the station to make room inside the airlock — and they took photos to document hardware for future spacewalks.

stronaut Peggy Whitson (center) helps spacewalkers Thomas Pesquet (left) and Shane Kimbrough suit up before beginning their spacewalk Jan. 13, 2017.

March 3, 2017
Students from Hartsfield Elementary 4-H Club of the Houston Independent School District in Texas spoke with a NASA astronaut about what it is like to be currently living and working aboard the International Space Station. The 20-minute, Earth-to-space call aired live on NASA Television and the agency’s website at 10 a.m. EST Friday, March 3.

Flight Engineer Whitson answered questions from students assembled on the campus of the Animal and Environmental Sciences Magnet at Hartsfield Elementary. She spoke about her experiences during and after she launched to the space station on Nov. 17, 2016.

And wouldn’t you know? Whitson is herself a 4-H alumna; she has played a major role in this partnership.

A Quick Précis on Spacewalking

Space station crew members have conducted 197 spacewalks in support of assembly and maintenance of the orbiting laboratory. Spacewalkers have now spent a total of 51 days 6 hours and 4 minutes working outside the station.

Not one to waste a world-publicity opportunity, NASA has since started what it calls “Expeditionary Skills for Life,” a NASA and 4-H partnership.  The program highlights important skills including teamwork, cultural competency, leadership, fellowship and communication. The program is designed to take participants through educational expeditions that will help them learn and practice skills that can be applied to almost every aspect of life.
Astronauts Shane Kimbrough, Thomas Pesquet and Peggy Whitson seemingly juggle apples and oranges floating in the microgravity environment inside the space station. | Image credit: NASA
This in-flight education downlink is an integral component of the NASA Office of Education’s efforts to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teaching and learning in the United States. Linking students directly to astronauts aboard the space station through the agency Office of Education’s STEM on Station activity provides authentic, live experiences in space exploration, space study and the scientific components of space travel, while introducing the possibilities of life in space.

Keep up with the crew aboard the International Space Station on the agency’s blog, follow @ISS on Instagram, and @space_station on Twitter.

Find out more about the NASA/4-H partnership at:

https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/stem-on-station/expeditionary-skills-for-life.html

Get NASA TV streaming video, schedules and downlink information at:

http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

Learn about videos and lesson plans highlighting research on the International Space Station at:

http://www.nasa.gov/stemonstation

iss050e017211
Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 50 Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson of NASA sent holiday greetings and festive imagery from the cupola on Dec. 18, 2016.
Photo via NASA | Last Updated: Dec. 23, 2016.

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