By Randy Gener
PLANET EARTH | Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) is seen floating outside the International Space Station during a spacewalk. Pesquet and Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA conducted the six-hour-and-34-minute spacewalk on March 24, 2017.
The two astronauts successfully disconnected cables and electrical connections on the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 (PMA-3) to prepare for its robotic move on Sunday, March 26. PMA-3 will be moved from the port side of the Tranquility module to the space-facing side of the Harmony module — where it will become home for the station’s second International Docking Adapter, which will be delivered on a future flight of a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft.
The astronauts also lubricated the latching end effector on the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator “extension” for the Canadarm2 robotic arm, inspected a radiator valve and replaced cameras on the Japanese segment of the outpost.
A second spacewalk, by Kimbrough and NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, was later scheduled for Thursday, March 30. Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson of NASA will complete the PMA-3 attachment work on the Harmony module’s space-facing port. The duo will also install computer relay boxes containing software upgrades to enable future commercial crew vehicle dockings at the space station.